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MASON CITY, Iowa - With the possibility of more snowstorms in the near future, area transportation departments are assuring that they have plenty of supplies on hand to treat the roads.
Iowa DOT and MnDOT crews were dispatched around 3 a.m. Monday, about four hours before the first flakes touched the ground, pretreating roads with a sand and salt mixture, as well as brine, a water and salt mix. They spent the remainder of the day plowing major and side streets until about 6 p.m.
According to Mason City street supervisor Robert Berggren, the city is currently on their third load of the sand and salt mix. They do not use any brine, as the city has no plans to utilize it.
"One portion of the salt is about 600 tons, while the other side is about 2,000 tons. The money is budgeted for so many tons of salt and sand a year, so just we keep working on that, and if we run out, we ship in some more from our contractors," Berggren says.
MnDOT officials at their District 6 office in Rochester say the state has spent less on supplies this year, down 18% from what they were spending last year.
For Mason City sander Merle Klipping, plowing his route today was relatively easy.
"I haven't encountered anything at all. Everybody's driving pretty normal," Klipping says.
He also says the consistency of the fluffy snow, coupled with higher winds, have helped with snow clearance.