Evening Driving Conditions Affected By Flash Freeze Early In Day

Posted at 9:38 PM, Feb 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-19 22:42:27-05

The concerns for drivers started with a flash freeze early Tuesday morning and in the evening there were layers of ice beneath the snow.

FOX 17 hitched a ride with county plow driver to see what it would take to clean the mess up.

Driver Erik Bitely, “As long as we’re opening up the road for the traffic, that’s our main concern.”

Bitely has been plowing for the county for more than 14 winters.

These walls are like a bumper boat in here, there’s a lot of cars that take these turns at too high of a speed,” said Bitely.

He said roads were slick because of how mother nature played her hand during this particular winter storm.

“The tricky spots are the spots that are drifting over. The snow was able to melt, the ice was able to melt, the snow is covering it again,” said Bitely. “Traffic’s ironing it on.”

Flash freezing early Tuesday morning meant those areas that were soaked from the rain had a chance to freeze.

It’s turned into a sheet of ice so that’s what we’re looking to take care of,” said Bitely.

The situation called for a more even mix of sand, salt and brine instead of pure salt.

The conditions are a little too cold for salt and we put the 50/50 on and the sand gives the chance for a little bit of traction,” said Bitely.

The conditions on the roads were also patchy. 

Some areas were clear, then drivers hit an area in which they thought they might lose control.

Bitely says that fate of the roads was based on where the wind was blowing the snow.

“We’re still going to try to do our best whatever the conditions are,” he said.

Bitely says the best times to clear the roads are from 1:00 am to 4:00 am because that is when traffic is the slowest.