Snow starts light, but more is forecast

SANDUSKY As the snow flew Saturday night, city crews were busy keeping the roadways clear.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

As the snow flew Saturday night, city crews were busy keeping the roadways clear.

"We're out here to pretty much help everyone," said Roy Patterson, who's worked for the city's street maintenance division for nearly 11 years.

Early Saturday evening, Patterson listened to Christmas music as he drove a Ford F800 dump truck plowing and salting the main city routes.

The city had six trucks on the road as a few inches of snow began to pile up around town, said Art Straub, city traffic services foreman.

Straub served as mission control, keeping an eye on the weather and the roadways to update crews working on the road.

Street maintenance workers were being called in for 12-hour shifts to keep the slick streets under control.

Accuweather.com forecast up to a foot of snow for the area today, with snow tapering to flurries through tonight and Monday. The National Weather Service was more conservative, forecasting 3-5 inches of snow today for the Sandusky and Lorain areas as a storm churned its way through the Midwest on its way to New England.

A winter storm warning is in effect until 7 p.m. today.

"During the holidays you want to be home with your family, that's the hard part," Patterson said. "You can get called in at any time."

Though crews plowed and salted the streets, not all accidents could be prevented.

Sandusky police reported nine accidents throughout the city through Saturday evening, none serious.

The Erie County Sheriff's office had five reports of vehicles either going into ditches or minor accidents.

Though the snowy conditions had cars slipping and sliding Saturday night, it was hardly the worst city street maintenance crews have ever seen.

Patterson recalled the bad snowstorm of Christmas 2004.

"I was in all night for that. It was really something," he said.

Despite his years of experience, Patterson said that he never knows what to expect when he climbs into his truck and heads out on the snowy roads.

"Anything can happen. A car could slide in front of you, or you could slide," he said. The large trucks though, weighing more than a ton, handle well in inclement weather, he said.

Patterson said its the skilled mechanics back at the service center who keep the trucks running and ready to combat the elements.

The Associated Press and Register staff writer Holly Abrams contributed to this story.