Closings & Delays

Mild winter has been slow going for PennDOT plow operators

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MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- PennDOT crews said there wasn't much snow to plow after Friday's storm, but there were a few icy patches to salt.

Plow operators go through PennDOT's 'snow academy' to train for days like this, but so far this winter hasn't given them many chances to hit the road.

FOX 43 News met one PennDOT operator who started at 1 am Friday morning, he worked until noon, and then came back at 3 pm.  Despite the long hours, he didnt seem to mind.

There are some people who love snow days.

PennDOT operator Deon Terry said "white means green."

A snow storm can mean lots of overtime for PennDOT snow plow crews, but an operator has to find something else to do during a winter in which snowfalls haven't amounted to much.

PennDOT assistant county maintenance manager Gary Ishman said "working with our maintenance crews out on the jobs, replacing pipes, patching potholes, doing other maintenance."

"We keep them busy, yup. And, if i have to say, they do a nice job," Ishman added.

Last fall, PennDOT held a 'snow academy' to train new drivers to prepare for a winter, which so far, has felt more like spring.

"The training there does prepare them, with, for the snow storms that we deal with but again, there's nothing that's any better than the actual being in the truck, being when it's snowing, and you're learning as you're going," Ishman said.

There's always next year, so their training won't go to waste, but there is also a lot of salt leftover.

"All of our supplies are up, and we got plenty of salt and plenty of material to fight anything that comes the rest of this winter," Ishman said.

Winter doesn't officially end for about a week and a half, and there is more snow in the forecast.

"I'm still looking forward to it right now. I guess whenever I stop looking for it, it will be time to retire," Ishman said.

All of the operators get to train and retrain every year. They might not have had much practice with the white stuff this year so far, but with more than six inches in the forecast for Tuesday, they may get that chance soon.


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