Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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County snowplows battle another round of winter

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Buffalo: County snowplows battle another round of winter
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More than a foot of snow is expected in some spots of the Southern Tier. YNN's Mark Goshgarian hitched a ride on a county plow to get a first hand look at what it takes to keep the roads safe.

CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY, N.Y. — "We're off... we're going up in the snowbelt area," said Tom Brown, county plow driver.

He's worked for the county almost 18 years.

"It's really a rewarding job; people, businesses, everyone depending on you to keep the roads safe and clear," said Brown.

Tom Brown is one of Chautauqua County's snowplow drivers who was out clearing the roads Thursday during another round of winter weather.

"Has been very wild winter," said George Spanos, Department of Public Facilities Director.

Spanos says the county is equipped with plenty of salt, as crews set out to plow more than 1,100 miles of roadway.

"We are scheduled to work around the clock. We are in the middle of the winter season, and it will not affect our operations that much. We don't really have to do anything special, so we are prepared," said Spanos.

"I've got the plowing wing down, we're plowing the road and applying material as we go... we need to remove the snow from the center first, so we're not trying to force anyone off the road. He's got to slow down and move over a little bit, cause I'm, right out in the center," said Brown.

Brown relies on markers along the side of the road to guide him through white out conditions. He also has to keep an eye out for oncoming traffic, especially when clearing intersections.

"Basically, you're plowing by the seat of your pants, you got to be on your guard all the time, especially in adverse conditions, not being able to see," said Brown.

Brown also advises drivers to slow down and give the plows the space they need.

"They should move over and let the plow go by, especially on an unplowed road, if it gets that bad out, just stay home," said Brown. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP