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Snow Plows Hit The Roads for Second Round of Wintry Weather

About 90 drivers are responsible for 2,600 lane miles of roads in Frederick County.
FREDERICK, Md. - A second round of wintry weather dumped even more snow in the four-state area, leaving crews with the important job of keeping the roads you drive on safe.

The day began at 4 a.m. for Danny Umberger and almost 90 other truck drivers with the Frederick County Office of Highway Operations.

"We're usually called in two to three hours before it starts. That way we can hopefully get all of the material on all the roads before all the snow starts and before all the traffic gets out. That way we don't have any cars tied up,"  Umberger said. 

Drivers like Umberger are responsible for 2,600 lane miles of roads in Frederick County.

"The main thing in a snowstorm we've found is getting material down early. If you let the snow start to fall onto the road and traffic drives over it, it adheres to the asphalt. It will bond and freeze," said Mike Ramsburg, maintenance section supervisor with the Frederick County Office of Highway Operations.

Umberger has been clearing roads for 10 years now. He has a very important task keeping the roads you drive on safe because his route consists of about 18 to 20 miles.

"It doesn't sound like a lot, but sometimes it can be a lot," Umberger said. 

It's a lot because Umberger will often have to go up and down the same road a dozen times. His truck even has his name on it, and listening to country music helps him stay alert.

"It gets you in the rhythm of what you're doing," Umberger said. 

Those with highway operations say drivers shouldn't go out in a snowstorm, but if you have to, they have some advice.

"Please give the driver room to work," Ramsburg said. "If you get too close, that could be bad for everyone. You have to remember the big trucks don't have rear-view mirrors. They rely on the side-view mirrors."

Those with highway operations say they'll look at their inventory after this snowstorm and see which supplies need to be replenished. They'll also make minor repairs to snow plow trucks so everything is ready the next time it snows.
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