Pierce County crews responding to snow, ice, downed trees

Public Works and Utilities crews continued to work 12-hour shifts overnight to keep up with the weather. Thirty trucks focused on the most important roads in unincorporated Pierce County. Following the snow and ice plan, drivers focused on over 600 lane miles of arterials to stay ahead of heavy snowfall, strong winds, and freezing temperatures.

On Tuesday, snowplow drivers will move to the next level of arterial and lifeline roads, adding another 900 lane miles to the plow routes. The goal is to get roads to bare and wet condition and then apply anti-icer to prevent refreezing. As crews successfully clear the arterial roadway system, they will move to main residential roads.

Currently, of those 600 lane miles of most important roadways the following percentages are cleared to bare and wet condition:

— 30% in east county

— 75% in north county

— 20% in west county

— 30% in central/south county

Monday night’s cold north winds added tree removal to the road operations crews’ workload. Throughout the county there were 26 downed trees or limbs that caused temporary road closures. By Tuesday morning 14 have been cleared. Twelve more are waiting for power crews or additional road crews to clear the way.

With freezing temperatures lasting through Wednesday, crews will likely stay in 24-hour response mode until Thursday. Public Works and Utilities management is watching weather forecasts closely to maintain the appropriate response.

Public Works and Utilities encourages drivers to be extra cautious, be prepared for emergencies, and give snowplows extra room to do their work.

Find information online at http://www.piercecountywa.org/snowremoval .