MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Snow and ice have arrived in every part of North Dakota. But crews across the state are working around the clock to clear highways and neighborhoods.
Right now, city crews are hard at work making roads driveable all around the Magic City.
Those big trucks you see around town are laying a salt sand mixture to make that happen. Using a mixture of the two substances is key to the process, providing the perfect combination of force to make our roads drivable again.
“If we use complete salt it’s going to be very expensive, and probably harmful to your vehicles as well. So we use a salt sand mixture. The salt actually helps penetrate the snow and start the melting process,” said Derek Hackett, the public information officer for the City of Minot.
If you’ve ever sprinkled salt on your icy steps, you know that it begins to dissolve immediately. Unfortunately, if temperatures dip below around 15 degrees, salt may not be enough to get the job done. It needs water to begin the melting process. And that’s where sand comes into play.
“The sand will actually stick to the road and help give you traction on the roadways. So it’s really a nice little tandem with a balance of cost and effectiveness,” explained Hackett.
Crews are working around the clock to get through this storm, working 12 hours on, and 12 hours off.
“We’re really making good progress here on Thursday. The snow has stopped, and now we’re dealing with the westward wind which is going to cause some issues. So you’re going to see us kind of be favoring north and southwest Minot a lot more because they are dealing with this wind. They are on the front lines of the blowing snow,” Hackett said.
Once this storm is over, the work doesn’t stop there. Even though sand dissolves back into the environment, salt doesn’t.
So later on, city crews will drive through the city with a special truck to suck up as much salt as possible.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there is still lots of work to be done this winter season.
There’s a lot more to consider than what meets the eye when it comes to our city teams taking care of our roads during a storm. The city is hard at work in big trucks like these 24/7.
City workers hope for a little bit of grace from residents as they navigate through this storm. And some grace from mother nature as well.
Crews will continue to plow and sand emergency routes first and then move on to residential neighborhoods.
Download our free KX Storm team app to get the most up-to-date road conditions in your area.