Severe thunderstorm watch for Racine, Kenosha, Walworth Cos. until midnight
Flash flood watch for much of southeast Wisconsin until 9am Saturday

“Check the roads before you travel:” 300 DPW workers on standby for weekend snow

MILWAUKEE -- Bring it on! That's what those in charge of Milwaukee's snow plow operation are saying about our area's first major snow event of the season.

Milwaukee's Department of Public Works says they will do whatever they need to do to keep the streets safe, as predicted snowfall Saturday night through Sunday hits.

The sanitation trucks are being fitted with plows to get ready. The city says there are more than 300 workers standing by to work 12-hour shifts. They've been preparing since Wednesday, putting a brine mixture on major streets to prevent the snow from sticking. It's something they've done on bridges in the past. This is the first time they've expanded this treatment.

102 drivers will come in for a 12-hour shift, then another 102 drivers take over. An important thing to keep in mind, there may be a snow emergency called, but for now look to the parking signs to tell you if you need to move your car so you won't be towed.

The city is also asking people to patient. Plow trucks operate best at 25 miles-per-hour.

Here's a look at the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works snow preparedness plans for December 10-11:

  • DPW has already pre-treated Milwaukee’s main arterial streets and bridges with a salt brine solution.  Note the white stripes in these roadways.  The brine is designed to prevent snow from bonding to the pavement, thus making it easier to plow.
  • DPW will begin salting/pre-treating City side streets on Saturday afternoon, December 10 – 102 salt trucks
  • After the side streets have been completed, salt trucks will move to the main roads
  • DPW has 175 garbage and recycling trucks mounted with plow blades ready to go when they are needed
  • Additional equipment will be assigned as needed
  • DPW continues to monitor weather forecasts and road conditions

Meantine, ReadyWisconsin is warning people about the upcoming storm and precautions you and your family should take to keep safe.

  • If you must travel allow plenty of extra time for your trip. Also keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle and inform friends and family of your travel plans and approximate arrival time.
  • Check the roads before you travel. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation advises travelers check road conditions before leaving home by calling 5-1-1 or visiting www.511wi.gov.
  • Have an emergency winter weather survival kit in your vehicle. Your kit should include water, snack food such as energy bars or raisins, blankets, first aid kit and booster cables. If you have a cell phone make sure you have a power adapter you can plug into the lighter. You can find more kit tips at ReadyWisconsin: http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/winter/HowToMakeAKit.asp
  • Get supplies for your home. Make sure your home emergency kit is stocked with food that can be stored and prepared without electricity. For a complete list of kit items go to ReadyWisconsin at http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/kit/GetKit.asp
  • Stay informed. ReadyWisconsin will keep you posted on any emergencies that occur during the storm. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.