ODOT uses more than 250 trucks to clear Northeast Ohio roads

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ODOT unable to treat roads early because of rain

CLEVELAND (WJW)– As soon as Thursday’s rain changed to snow, Ohio Department of Transportation plow truck drivers hit Northeast Ohio highways, spreading salt to keep the roads clear.

For many people in Northeast Ohio, watching snow fall on Christmas Eve is a welcome site, unless they have to drive in it.

“It was a couple of people blinking their lights, probably never really drove in snow on the freeway,” one driver told FOX 8.

“That’s why he’s doing the driving today, I just rather sit in the passenger seat…I get too nervous,” said one woman.

“Just take your time, let the weather do what it’s gonna do. Don’t try to go too aggressive because you know how it is, it’s icy, slicky, it’ll take control, so you gotta have patience,” explained the man driving the SUV the woman was in.

ODOT crews spent Thursday loading up salt. When the rain changed over to snow, more than 250 trucks fanned out across 17 Northeast Ohio counties, trying to keep roadways as safe as possible.

Officials said they were unable to treat the roads ahead of time because the rain would have washed it all away.

“Our plow truck drivers are the real unsung heroes of this season, they’re going to be on the roads in 12-hour shifts, spending time away from their family, during the Christmas holiday, so they can keep the roads safe for everyone else,” said Brent Kovacs, spokesman for ODOT District 12.

ODOT said because the temperatures are expected to fall well below freezing, they’re using something called Beet Heat, to melt the snow faster.

“It’s a mix of fluoride and sugar that increases the efficacy of the salt in colder temperatures, it’s a liquid that gets applied to the salt on the back of the truck,” Kovacs explained.

“When I came outside, I saw snow all over the car, I said, well that’s Christmastime, you know, it fits right into the occasion,” said a driver.

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