Spring storm has U.P. Road Commissions clearing the streets

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IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) - Road Commissions across the U.P. are back on the streets with their plows after Thursday's storm. The approach is a little different this time after a few weeks of warm weather.

"All the wings are off the trucks now because everything is so soft on the shoulders and we don't want to throw gravel,” James Harris, Road Commission Managing Director, said. “Then we'll go out there with reduced loading even on our trucks because spring restrictions are on so we don't tear things up. No front plows. We basically just go out and do the best we can. As a matter of fact, many of the gravels and probably all of the alleys really won't get plowed unless it's an absolute emergency."

After a rough winter, the Road Commission was expecting a spring storm and kept extra employees on board.

"Normally the night shift is over by now, but they extended it this year,” Tino Mariucci, a Snowplow Driver, said. “Those guys will work an extra one or two weeks just because of weather like this. You can't predict it very well and we don't know when we're going to get it. Seasonal guys on night shift will be working a couple of extra weeks."

While they work to clear the roads, the Commission wants to remind everyone to drive safely and slowly.

"Definitely it's like any other storm. I know we've had a nice month where we haven't had a lot of weather,” Harris said. “Take your time, slow down, we may get slippery conditions. It's supposed to get some freezing rain later on this evening into tonight. We've got our crews out, everyone is available but just kind of slow down and be careful as you’re traveling around tonight and tomorrow."

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