Driving in a winter wonderland

On the evening of Thursday, Jan. 31, Troy was hit with its largest snowfall of this winter season. The weather that followed was fairly typical of Ohio: unpredictable. Any native Buckeye knows that snow, 50 degree weather, rain, sun, and even a tornado or two are all possible in the same week. It is often said that if you get bored with Ohio weather, wait. It’ll change.

The weather impacts us all in our daily lives, whether it’s 12 degrees and snowing or 95 and sunny. Winter weather is particularly tricky as it requires our full attention when it happens. Our crews respond appropriately according to the needs of each weather event, which is unique each time. Even though the season is not yet over, our crews have already responded to nearly 20 percent more callouts, spread over 50 percent more tons of salt, spent over 40 percent more in overtime and other expenses, and plowed 300 percent more than the average over the last four winter seasons.

The process starts with a call from our front lines, our patrolling police officers, who contact the Miami County Emergency Dispatch Center. Dispatch then calls our street foreman, who assesses the conditions of the roads – often by getting up in the middle of the night to drive our streets — and deciding on the best course of action. He contacts me to recommend how, when, and with what equipment we should tackle the weather. He then immediately calls out to our crews, which can include trained staff from the Street, Water, Sewer, Utilities, Distribution and Park departments. That whole sequence can happen within 30 minutes of the initial call.

Our crews are among the best in the Greater Dayton region at their dedication, safety record, care and consideration when salting and plowing Troy’s roads. Despite the busy season, every time they’ve quickly answered the call, often sacrificing their time at home (and sleep) to make sure our commutes to and from work and appointments are as safe as possible. Our crews, as well as our police and fire departments, endure the elements to ensure our community remains safe regardless of Mother Nature. Their commitment is second to none, and if you have the opportunity to say thank you, please do.

Winter weather is constantly changing, and very challenging — not only from year to year but from event to event. We’ll continue to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible to clear the roads of all hazards. We ask that all who travel our roads continue to be aware of our trucks and safe in their travels.

If a winter weather event is forecasted, removing your vehicle from the street when possible is always helpful to our crews. During some events, we end up needing to treat the streets in the middle of the night when it is difficult to get information out to residents, so being prepared helps our efforts as well. Our streets are salted and/or plowed in a specific order as winter weather hits. If you would like to see your street, a map is available on our website at www.troyohio.gov

In the past several years, we have expanded the ways we communicate with our residents. We livestream and record all of our public meetings through our www.troyohio.gov website. We manage Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts and monitor and post to other social media sites, such as NextDoor.com. As always, I am available if you have questions or comments. If you have suggested topics that you would like to see in future columns, please forward them to me at patrick.titterington@troyohio.gov.