ROCHESTER, Minn. - Ready or not, soon the roads will be covered in ice and snow. That's why the Minnesota Department of Transportation's snowplow drivers are preparing now.
Snowplow drivers for MnDot District 6, which covers 11 continues, including Olmsted County, are going through winter preparation meetings this week.
During the meetings, drivers are brushing up on safety measures and equipment. They are also talking salt strategies including how much salt to use to effectively treat roads but also keep costs and environmental impact low.
"It's a bit of a refresher for some of the more veteran drivers, and it's brand new information and good reminders for new drivers," Mike Dougherty with MnDot District 6 said.
The snowplow drivers also went through hands-on training near the Twin Cities. Dougherty said it's better to prepare now than run into more problems on the icy roads.
"Once snow and ice season starts, we can't tell what's going to happen, we just know that they need to be ready," Dougherty said. "Their job for the next five, six months is to be ready to get out there with snow, with ice, whatever the conditions are. And they take their jobs very seriously, and they want to do a good job, that's why you see the classrooms packed this week."
For District 6, there are 101 snowplows and about 285 snowplow drivers.
MnDot said others can also prepare for winter roads by checking car maintenance and tires and making sure their cars have blankets and winter survival kits in them.
MnDot also suggests people get in the habit now of checking road conditions before they leave the house at www.511mn.org.