City of Parkersburg workers keep busy during recent snowfalls

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) The city of Parkersburg says its crews, plows and street treatment equipment were out Tuesday.

But while they were putting down snow and ice removal materials, including salt, it may not have worked as usual.

Wednesday, with this round of snowfall over, they were having more success.

"With a little bit of sun, even though the temperatures are below freezing, it definitely helps," says Everett Shears, Public Works Director.

Shears was asked if there was a certain temperature where salt, no matter how much you put on the roads, just doesn't work.

"If you get down to zero or the minus category, it's not going to work."

City leaders say the problem of immediately clearing and treating streets lies in the number of streets needing attention during a snow event.

According to its website (parkersburgcity.com/pc), it has priorities for dealing with that.

First priority goes to streets with large hills, such as Broad Street. Then, main streets other than those such as Blizzard Drive (West Virginia Route 14), that are part of state highways, Those are taken care of by Division of Highways workers.

Priority then goes to major intersections where accidents often happen, followed by secondary streets.

Mayor Tom Joyce says, even with the slippery conditions, accidents Tuesday were minimal.

"The city police responded to one motor vehicle accident in the city limits," the mayor said. "I talked to other parts of the state where they were up over 20. So that's a testament to our folks and the people who do the state routes, but just the citizens for being smart and making smart decisions."

Joyce estimates the city accumulated more than 470 hours of overtime clearing streets in recent weeks, at a cost of $11,000.