Road crews in Wash. Co. gear up for possible long night Tuesday

WASHINGTON COUNTY (WITI) -- From Port Washington to Washington County, crews on Tuesday, January 14th were paying close attention to the roads as snow was expected. We saw morning snowfall and an afternoon lull. Winds picked up late in the afternoon -- and snow was expected to pick back up Tuesday evening and Tuesday night. Crews who work to keep the roads clear were worried Tuesday about the potential for blowing and driving snow -- especially along rural roads.

For much of Tuesday afternoon, areas like West Bend saw freezing rain -- but with the potential for snow and high winds, highway crews were hopeful they could get some help from "snow fences."

One such snow fence was placed outside West Bend East High School.

"A lot of our students live in rural areas around, and so, it seems to be the drifts happen much more out in those areas, obviously. Those are things we have to consider when planning events and whether we`re going to hold them," Principal Jim Curler said.

The stretch of Highway G that runs past the school is a small part of Washington County's plowing plan.

"We`ve got 186 highway miles that we cover and it is tough. It takes anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours for the course of an entire route for a driver -- so by the time they get back, there`s some problem areas that we have to keep track of," Assistant Highway Commissioner Chris Walter said.

Of course, blowing and drifting snow can quickly cover roads that crews just plowed -- and that's where "snow fences" come in.

"A lot of these sections our guys work, they know where the drifts are. They`ve been plowing them for a number of years and that`s where we try to put snow fences in those areas to protect against drifting," Walter said.

Curler says the fences have gone up at the high school every winter in the 15 years he's been at West Bend East.

"We have those large football fields and soccer fields that are there and if we didn`t have those snow fences, it would just be always blowing across the road and that`s one of the main roads into the building," Curler said.

Officials in Washington County said Tuesday with the freezing rain, expected snow and dropping temperatures -- they were preparing for a long night.