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State Highway Officials Prep For First Big Snow Of The Season

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — State highway officials are staying ahead of the storm, with pretreatment starting early.

"We did start pretreating operations over the weekend," said Charlie Gishlar, State Highway Administration. "We're going to continue today and make sure that's able to dry and leave that film behind to prevent that initial bonding of snow and ice,"

Chopper 13 spotted State Highway Administration trucks working Tuesday, drizzling a mix of salt, water and strategy on about 17,500 lane miles across the state.

Its fleet of up to 2,500 pieces of equipment are loaded with anti-icing brine and digging into the 400,000 lbs of rock salt on hand for this winter season.

"As soon as the sun comes up the pavement temperatures are rapidly rising because the sun angle is steepening. And that helps us tremendously. That's where salts effective. We are probably gonna have to put our plow blades down this time," Gishlar said.

In Baltimore City, MDOT trucks are dousing snow emergency routes and city gateways with brine, that way snow and ice won't have a chance to bond to main roads.

Anything to help ease a potentially messy morning commute across Maryland. Both state and city crews said they are ready to start working early Wednesday morning and work through the storm and hope all this pretreating pays off.

In Carroll County, 81 trucks will be on standby.

They also plan on bringing crews in early Tuesday night into Wednesday morning to keep the roads coated with brine.

Governor Larry Hogan is urging drivers to prepare for the winter weather and to stay off of the roads if possible.

"We would just encourage everybody that this is going to be a dangerous storm," Hogan said. "Despite our best efforts, we are going to have difficulty on the road, so we want to encourage you, if possible, to stay home tomorrow so we can clean up the roads."

In the case of power outages, BGE says that it is ready to respond.

"We're going to have nearly 700 full-time employees ready to work out in the field," Richard Yost, a spokesperson for BGE, said. "Once those outages do occur, we'll be ready to respond when necessary."

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