DPW crews working 12-hour shifts to clear roads

Tuesday's storm was the first time this season the Indy Snow Force was activated. (WISH Photo/Howard Monroe )
Tuesday's storm was the first time this season the Indy Snow Force was activated. (WISH Photo/Howard Monroe )

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Some 140 Indianapolis Department of Public Works drivers are working to the clear the roads of snow and preventing them from refreezing.

Tuesday’s storm was the first time this season the Indy Snow Force was activated.

“I’m excited to get in the truck and go,” said Chelsea Merriman, a snow plow driver for Indianapolis for five years.

Merriman and the other drivers will be working 12-hour shifts to clear the roads.

“I like the long hours, because it’s snowy and yucky outside anyway and all I would be doing is sitting inside and watching TV, on the snowy day. So instead I could go outside and make money,” she said.

“We work around the clock and we have those shift changes beginning at 11 a.m., they’ll work through 11 p.m. We’ll have another shift of drivers come in and work through those overnight hours,” said Jennifer Hashem, a spokesperson for Indy DPW.

Indy DPW has 18,000 tons of salt on hand, all of its barns are full.

Also, all of their trucks are operating.

The drivers will be working until the roads are clear and the risk of re-freezing is lower.

“We just have a lot of ground to cover in one area, and we can only do what we can do and sometimes nature just dumps it on us,” said Merriman.

Merriman said the worst she had to deal with was the winter of 2014, the snowiest winter on record.

“We had the polar vortex, and there were negative degree weather and there were three weeks I believe that were straight 12-hour shifts everyday for three weeks,” she said.

If you’re out driving and come across a plow the one thing we’re told you should do is give them the right-of-way, and do not pass them.

Crews say the worst place for you to be is in front of a plow. Not only is the road covered, but if you have to stop suddenly there will be a 50,000 pound truck behind you.