TDOT Uses Warm Weather To Prep For Next Winter Storm

Posted at 5:05 PM, Jan 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-12 20:22:22-05

The first round of snow walloped Middle Tennessee, wrecking havoc with less than an inch on the ground.

"The first snow scares everybody up, they wanna run out to the store get all the milk and bread," laughed 6-year TDOT snow plow driver Alfred Hill Jr.

Hill knows the drill. Even in the warmer weather, he keeps his truck ready.

Inside the command center, camera operators and dispatchers are all eyes on the roads.

"It's one call after the other (on snow days)," said TDOT transportation management center supervisor Adam Perez, "and that's how it is typically in wintertime - it's nonstop work."

They're embracing the calm before the next storm, but know it wont last long.

"All of us have been here several years so we kind of just know the routine," Perez said.

With time to re-group, there's time to improve.

Remember the video showing a snow plow narrowly missing multiple school buses and plowing into cars on an icy road?

So does Hill. He's turning it into a training tool.

"I think about three of us watched that video and I kept rewinding it back saying 'you see how fast he's going down that hill?' And his plow wasn't down," Hill said.

Overall, they want to respond faster.

TDOT has the salt barn stocked and despite a forecast in the 70s, the first truck sits at the ready.

And staff are checking the forecast 10-days out.

"If we see anything coming up that might be something we need to prepare for, we're going to start getting our schedules together," said TDOT Nashville Spokesperson Kathryn Schulte.

That way they're confident went the next front appears, ready to hit the road and plow through the storm.

"We can handle it, we can take on anything," Hill said.