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West Chester road crews work 37 hours during weekend snow event
Snow response crews worked in shifts for 37 hours, taking just one three-hour break to clear an estimated 15 inches of snow off West Chester Township roads the weekend of January 12-13.
Plow drivers were called in at 4 a.m. Saturday and had roads completely clear by 6 p.m. that evening. A smaller crew cleaned up from 6 p.m. Saturday until 3 a.m. Sunday, before the region was hardest hit by a second accumulating snowfall. All drivers resumed plow duties for another 14-hour shift from 6 a.m. through 8 p.m. Sunday.
Approximately 5 to 7 inches of heavy, wet snow blanketed Butler County early Saturday morning. Another 8 to 10 inches fell early Sunday morning. The slow-moving storm system produced some of the most significant snow in recent memory.
Drivers were back on the job Monday and Tuesday addressing problem areas and finishing cul-de-sacs.
Snow response crews cleared all Township roads not once, but twice (and in the case of primary roads three or four times) in a 48-hour timeframe. This includes about 220 miles of roads and more than 600 cul-de-sacs.
“This is what West Chester road crews do when there is snow,” said Community Services Director Tim Franck. “Our crews work as long as it is safe to do so in order to make roads passable for motorists. Snowfall over multiple days is especially challenging due to the amount of roadway and the importance of keeping everyone safe with appropriate breaks and rest.”
Residents who lost a mailbox, incurred yard damage, or who have questions and concerns regarding Township snow removal are encouraged to submit a report with their name, address and a brief description. Call the Road Division at 513-777-8765 or complete a Service Request online: https://www.westchesteroh.org/residents/service-request
Please note that a representative will address questions and concerns as soon as possible and, depending on the severity of the storm, may not be available to respond immediately during certain weekend and evening hours.
Approach to Snow Removal
Roads are plowed according to their classification with special consideration given to known areas of concern. Main roads are a top priority. Next, collector streets, or those crucial in getting traffic flow from subdivision streets. Subdivision streets are next. Cul-de-sacs and less traveled streets are serviced as soon as all Township main and collector roads are cleared.
Snow removal is a job West Chester shares with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Butlter County Engineer’s Office (BCEO). While all agencies support each other in the effort, ODOT is generally responsible for I-75, SR 747 and US 42. The county is generally responsible for roads including: Tylersville, Cincinnati-Dayton, Lakota Drive West, Muhlhauser, West Chester, Smith, Beckett, Port Union, Union Centre, and portions of Crescentville, Cox (north of Tylersville), and Hamilton-Mason, west of SR 747.
Drivers sprayed roads with a brine solution and salted roads Thursday and Friday, Jan. 10-11 leading up to the predicted snow event. When conditions are right to apply it, pre-treatment helps lower the freezing temperature on the pavement and assists in preventing build-up of snow and ice for plows to clear.
How Residents Can Help
Motorists can assist snow response drivers by not parking on streets during a snow event. This allows for clearing of the complete roadway. Only drive if necessary; if you must be on the road, give snow plows plenty of space and make yourself as visible as possible.
At home, residents can avoid shoveling driveway entrances twice by waiting until after the plow truck is finished plowing the street. Plow truck operators have no choice in where to push the snow. Snow has to go to the side of the road, which includes driveway entrances and in front of mailboxes. If you have a fire hydrant in or near your yard, you can help firefighters by clearing 3-feet around the hydrant in all directions.
In case of large snow events like that experienced Jan. 12-13, property owners can be less impacted by plowed snow at the end of their driveway by strategically shoveling beyond the end of their driveway and clearing two-thirds of the left side entrance (when looking out onto the road). This gives an area for snow to land from the passing plow and minimizes it from piling.
Snow response, like weather forecasting, can be an imperfect science – your patience is appreciated as dedicated public works staff put in hours upon hours of time and energy to address issues and keep residents safe on the roads.
For complete information about snow removal in West Chester Township, visit the Snow Response page or watch the short video below.