Road crews, We Energies prep for ice storm

As we prepare for a long night of winter weather – public works departments also get ready the weather the storm. 

Crews with the Ozaukee County Highway Department came in bright and early – around 7 a.m. Monday – to get ready for the winter weather advisory. 

From cleaning the trucks to loading them up -- it's a full-staff job. And workers say freezing rain can be harder to keep up with more than snow. 

"We pretreated a bunch of roads, bridges, ramps that stuff on county roads and also state roads," said Superintendent Josh Borden.

The Ozaukee County Highway Department's trucks are loaded up and ready to roll...

With salt to the brim and a full staff on standby, Borden's team is all set ahead of the winter advisory for southeastern Wisconsin. Freezing rain is expected overnight depending on temperatures and that could make for a mess on the roads. 

Josh Borden

"It’s a lot of pre-plan I guess. Manpower. Making sure you have enough guys because once you fall behind, it’s hard to catch back up," said Borden.

Public works departments are not the only ones bracing for the storm. We Energies crews are prepared to go at a moment's notice as power outages can't be ruled out. 

"What we typically see in situations like this is ice builds up on tree branches or limbs. It’s usually the weight of that causing branches and limbs to fall on our power lines," said spokesperson Alison Trouy.

We Energies says if you come across a downed power line – stay away as it could be energized. Then, report it, HERE.

Alison Trouy

As everyone is at the mercy of Mother Nature Monday night -- an emergency kit is always good to have at the ready. 

"Have blankets ready to go, have flashlights. Maybe go ahead and  charge your cellphone just in case we do see power outages tonight," said Trouy.

We Energies says if your power does happen to go out -- make sure to report it. There are more tips here.
As for the workers on the roads, they say if you have to travel, give them plenty of space to do their job.

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Preparations ahead of potential ice storm

The weather advisory in effect has the potential of knocking out power and causing tree damage. Drivers are being asked to avoid non-essential travel throughout this advisory.