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Street departments prepare for snow and ice

Area street departments weren't able to execute their usual plan to treat the roads Thursday because of all of the rain. News 18 uncovers how the West Lafayette Street department is preparing for the unpredictable weather.

Posted: Jan. 11, 2018 11:49 PM
Updated: Jan. 12, 2018 12:01 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) -- Area street departments weren't able to execute their usual plan to treat the roads Thursday because of all of the rain. News 18 uncovers how the West Lafayette Street department is preparing for the unpredictable weather.

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The West Lafayette Street Department was unable to salt the roads because the rain would have simply washed the salt off the roads.

Street Commissioner Ben Anderson said once the ice hits Thursday night, salt and brine trucks will hit the road. He said all street department employees will be on-call Thursday night.

Snow is also expected to fall Friday morning and Anderson said the combination will make for some dangerous road conditions.

"We refer to it as a billion jackhammers just attacking the road," said Anderson. "As that water gets down in between the layers and it freezes, it just expands Then you got salt going on top of it and it's just the pounding. This is the toughest time for our roads to get through."

When the winter weather hits, Anderson tell us the first step is to clear busier roads and ramps, bridges and hills so they can treat them as quickly as possible.

"This is when it gets kind of treacherous," said Anderson. "So, you just need to be cautious. We're going to have warmer temperatures so we know our temperatures are going to work."

West Lafayette police will have extra patrols out Thursday night in case of slide-offs, crashes or black ice. The officers will be the eyes and the ears for the street department.

Lafayette police aren't increasing their patrols. However, all officers will have access to SUVs so they can get to crashes or slide-offs easily.

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