Road crews were out in full force in the Wheaton and Glen Ellyn area on Wednesday morning, trying to keep up with the falling snow.
Wheaton road superintendent Mike Wakefield described with roads with one word: “terrible.”
“The snow fell really hard early in the morning and that’s right in our transition from night shift to day shift so we have a lot of catching up to do,” he said.
He hoped that the main roads would be cleared by the evening rush hour, with overnight crews clearing the remainder by early Thursday morning.
In Glen Ellyn, the roads are passable, said Julius Hansen, director of public works.
Crews will continue plowing and hope to get enough bare pavement to salt the roads before the temperatures fall.
“We’ve got a window of opportunity when the temperatures are in the upper 20s,” Hansen said. “We want to put that salt down in that time, because when it gets dark, the temperatures will drop and temperatures tomorrow will be extremely cold, so if we wait, the salt won’t work.”
He expects the village will have about 250 tons of salt left after this snow storm. The public works department is still working on getting more delivered, although some proposals are running as high as $315 a ton, which is the highest Hansen said he has ever seen.
The village will continue salting the roads but not when there’s still snow on the ground or when it’s too cold, he said. “We’re just being extremely careful that when we put it down, it’s optimal conditions.”
Wheaton has been able to get more delivered and has more than 1,200 tons of salt left. Wakefield expects not to use much of it during this storm because of the cold temperatures.
“I’m not going to say we’re in good shape. Just like everybody else in the metropolitan area, we’ve reduce the amount of salt we’re putting down,” he said.