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Road, energy crews brace for challenges a winter storm brings: ‘There’s still some uncertainty’

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RACINE -- This weekend's mix of rain, ice and snow will create challenges for crews tasked with keeping the roads clear.

"The tricky part about this forecast is that it's going to be a mixed bag of wind, and rain, and sleet, and ice, and snow," said Julie Anderson, Racine County Director of Public Works. "We would expect that the conditions on the east side of the county could be very different than the west side of the county."

Anderson said Racine County is prepared to deploy salt trucks and plows as soon as rain turns to ice -- or the snow starts falling.

"Our salt supply is plentiful," Anderson said.

Keeping I-94 clear is the number one priority for Racine County's crew. Anderson said monitoring the storm in real-time will be crucial.

"What we don't want to do is, we don't want to pre-treat roads, and then have it rain, and wash all the pre-treatment away," Anderson said.

Likewise, We Energies faces challenges of its own.

"There's still some uncertainty. We don't know where the hardest hit areas are going to be," said Alison Trouy, We Energies spokesperson.

We Energies crews will be on call to restore power and take care of downed lines if necessary.

"If you do come across a downed power line, stay at least 25 feet away and give us a call," Trouy said.

With totals stacking up, you are also encouraged to keep gas meters clear of snow and ice.

"Heavy snow can cause stress on the equipment and can damage it," Trouy said.

But no matter where the storm hits hardest, officials urge you to stay alert and be prepared.

If you are traveling this weekend, drivers are encouraged to give plows and salt trucks plenty of room on the roads -- as ice will make it more difficult for them to bring those heavy trucks to a stop.

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