Crews busy preparing Tri-Cities streets for weekend winter storm

Crews busy preparing Tri-Cities streets for weekend winter storm

Kennewick city representative Evelyn Lusignan says city road crews are watching the forecast and the sky, waiting for the flakes to fly.

"They're probably some of the best at predicting what they need to do advance of an event," she said. "We're well-prepared, stocked up on de-icer and hundreds of tons of salt, so we're good to go on supplies," she said.

She says so far they're in great shape, so now they wait for whatever the clouds drop on more than 670 miles of roads winding through Kennewick.

"Plowing as the snow is coming down, working through the night," she said. "They do get called in for overtime if we need to stay on top of it."

"We run as many hours as we need to, to take care of things," says Richland city streets' supervisor Chad Boothe

He told Action News storm-prep keeps them busy because weather isn't an exact science.

"We're not sure how much it's going to bring or when it's going to get here, but we're running all our equipment through fleet-maintenance," he explained. "It's better for us to be over-prepared than under-prepared so that's what we continually try to shoot for."

In order to bring order to chaos, Booth says they prioritize Richland through-fares.

Maps showing drivers which streets get treatment first are available on their website.

Pasco drivers have one too; listing which roads will be plowed first and most-often.

Lusignan says Kennewick drivers don't get a map, but the nine plows working around the clock have similar priorities.

She says first plows clear main roads like Clearwater and 10th Ave.

"Those are going to be the highest priority to stay on top of, especially if snows continuing to fall," she said.

High-traffic cross-streets (collector streets) come next.

"Those are the streets that feed into the [main roads]," she explained. "Some of those cross-streets that still have a lot of traffic."

Third and last priority are residential streets, which Lusignan admits sometimes can't get as much attention as busier roads.

She says they have to prioritize in order to help the most people possible.

"Especially in an event like we had in 2017," the city rep said. "It would snow, we'd clear, it would snow again, we would clear, it was an ongoing event which is unusual for here.

Boothe from Richland asks drivers to give plows and their drivers space to work.

"Not parking on the roads is definitely helpful," he said. "It makes it easier on the vehicle owners as well cause they wont have a big pile of snow by their car."

Snow-plow priority routes:

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