Inside the Snow Plow ‘War Room’ in Van Buren Co.

Posted at 7:34 PM, Jan 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-07 19:34:20-05

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. – The Van Buren County Road Commission says by noon Tuesday, many of the roads in the countryside had already drifted half-shut, or some of them shut completely. A crew of about 34 drivers is plowing from morning to evening to help keep the roads open.

“Just because we’re big doesn’t mean we don’t get stuck. We have a truck stuck there, a loader stuck there, so then we have to wait for somebody to come help us,” says Larry Hummel, engineer manager with the Van Buren County Road Commission.

As FOX 17 knows, even turning around in this snowy mess on somewhat groomed roads is an adventure: the bigger the vehicle, the longer the struggle.

“Just like everybody else that’s out in a car, we’re really not any different: we’re just a lot harder to pull out once we get there,” explains Hummel.

To prioritize more than 2,600 miles of lanes, snows plows in Van Buren County start clearing primary roads, then move on to the streets and avenues.

“They get them open, not widened, so we still get people that get stuck in intersections because we haven’t been able to clean them up. They get open at least once a day,” adds Hummel.

To try and make a tough job safer, the Road Commission reminds drivers to stay home when possible.

“Give the guys the courtesy of trying not to get stuck in their way; having them have to work around you just takes them that much longer,” says Hummel.