“Snow Day” not a day off for DelDOT staff
School and offices were shut down across Delmarva on Tuesday, giving many an official “Snow Day.”
However, for road crews, those two words have an entirely different meaning.
“A lot of people think, ‘you’re just going to go in the truck and drive, and you’re in this heated truck,'” says Gary Lisko, DelDOT Equipment Operator. “It’s a little bit more involved than that.”
According to DelDOT policy, plow drivers have to clear the primary roads first. To do this, they form a “train,” which can be anywhere from two to four trucks, to push the snow off at one time.
“Their biggest concern or challenge is not necessarily the weather but the motorists,” say Jim Westhoff, DelDOT Community Relations Officer.
“They need to give us some room, we can’t stop on a dime, and we’ve got blind spots,” says Lisko. “Especially at night, you just need to give us some leeway.”
Lisko says many drivers do not understand that the primary roads have to be done before the secondary. Once they do get to those areas, he says that is where more problems can start.
“You can run into vehicles that are stuck,” says Lisko. “Then you’re pretty much stuck unless you know that this road is wide enough, so you can maybe possibly go around them, but you really don’t want to get off the road edge because then you can be stuck.”
DelDOT officials advise drivers to not park their vehicles on the side of the road during a snow storm, and to not even leave the house if possible.
Within just the 20 minutes spent with 47 ABC, Lisko had to help push a truck driver that was stuck on a side road. Whether or not it could have been avoidable, he did not complain.
“People probably think I’m crazy but I don’t mind pushing snow,” he says. “Somebody’s gotta’ do it.”