NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Public works crews across Hampton Roads prepared for Friday's storm by loading trucks and pre-treating roads.
Many cities saw snow flurries Thursday morning, which was a preview of what's to come.
"We are seeing the beginning of somewhat of a wintry mix," Jeneen White with Norfolk's Department of Public Works said. "We're actually prepared for snow. We have already put in our 12 hour crew snow shifts."
The Norfolk Department of Public Works has extra crews on standby in case the snow proves to be a problem. Trucks were out measuring the temperatures on bridges and overpasses Thursday. When temperatures drop below freezing, it's time to bring out the salt and sand.
"We have four of our snow trucks fitted with rubber blades so they can handle slush removal," said White. "And we have all of our available trucks loaded with chemical sprays, sand and salt."
Their main focus is Friday afternoon when snow is expected to fall during the evening commute. Hampton Roads drivers poke fun at their own ability to get around in less than perfect conditions.
"To coin a phrase my dad uses, 'There are people who don't drive unless it snows,'" joked Bob Garling, while he was filling his vehicle with gas.
"There are a lot of out of town drivers, so people from the north figure they don't have a problem. The people from the south have never driven in the snow, so they have a big clash there," said Dan Raffensperger, a driver visiting from New Jersey. "And, they usually end up bumping into each other."
In Virginia Beach, plow trucks are lined up and ready to hit the roads.
"We've hooked up 30 trucks with spreaders and plows through the morning hours," said Jim Huntington, with Virginia Beach Public Works. "We checked all of our supplies, materials and equipment."
The Virginia Beach Department of Public Works held meetings Thursday afternoon to track the forecast. Crews have a big job ahead of them, more so than in other cities, simply because of size.
"We have approximately 4,400 lane miles in the city, probably one of the biggest in the area," said Huntington. "And trying to cover all those, we do a priority one setup, which means all the primary roads first."
Some drivers tell WAVY.com they aren't worried about the snowfall.
"I have lived in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach area my whole life, so I'll bet my next paycheck we wont get much out of it," Garling said.
But Public Works doesn't want to take any chances. They advise staying off the roads if you can.
Public works crews also ask drivers to give the trucks some extra space to do their work, and to travel below the speed limit when possible.
City officials are watching the forecast closely, hoping for a smooth ride.
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