Another snow emergency is declared by the city of Erie for the second time this month.
The plow truck drivers are out and ready.
“It’s the nature of the beast. It’s what we do…”
Temperatures were in the 50’s just a couple of days ago and now, snow and ice blankets the ground again. It’s not stopping Harborcreek plow drivers from hitting the roads to send the snow flying.
We jumped aboard the plow truck to learn what the challenges are in keeping township roads clear.
Project Manager Michael Bean tells us, “We have six plow routes that we go out on. The routes take about 4 to 41/2 hours so we can clear the roads…”
Harborcreek drivers say one of the many obstacles come from people not giving them enough space to properly plow the roads.
Bean advises that when the plow trucks are out, cars will be “Pulling up on you and not giving you enough room, then when you come out to an intersection… and then you go to back up and they’re right on you… so you can’t go back up the road, that’s challenging.”
Plow drivers here cover hundreds of roads once they set the plow blades down.
Harborcreek Township Supervisor Joe Peck tells us, “We have 88 miles of road we plow throughout the township, as well. Plus, we plow some state roads as part of a winter agreement with PennDOT. It keeps us busy.”
Peck says the township plow drivers luck out compared to the city of Erie because they don’t have to deal with on-street parking, but they still have other challenges to face that the city doesn’t.
Peck says, “We still have to deal with the traffic on the roads and the sheer amount of roads. We have a lot of drifting in the township that you don’t have in the inner city. “
During our ride-along, it was interesting to see how high off the ground you sit; 10 feet, soaring above the other drivers.
Plowers do say that seeing cars can be a challenge when it’s snowing. They say that turning your headlights on helps out significantly.
During one shift, a Harborcreek plow truck driver will dispense 20 tons of salt.