DOH District 1 officials set for winter driving season, share tips with motorists

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officials with West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) District 1 are set to combat snow and ice on the state’s road systems this winter season.

The DOH’s preparations and tips for motorists during inclement weather were discussed Monday at the DOH Interstate 64 maintenance facility in Charleston.

“Slow down, plan your trip, try to avoid the storm at the heaviest part of the precipitation,” DOH District 1 Maintenance Engineer Kathy Rushworth told MetroNews.

District 1 consists of Clay, Boone, Kanawha, Mason and Putnam counties. Rushworth said the DOH has over 100 trucks ready to be out in the district at one time with more than 200 employees.

She said the DOH has been in touch with each of the 14 organizations that provide snow removal and ice control to prepare. DOH has also checked the plows, inspected the trucks and reviewed the routes with drivers.

“We’ve checked the quantity of salt that we have. We are ordering salt and getting deliveries to fill up stockpiles,” Rushworth said of the nearly 15,000 tons of salt.

Rushworth urged that motorists avoid any DOH equipment on the road and not to follow closely. She said visibility is usually poor and more space in between gives drivers more time for reaction.

“When it’s wet and cold, you can hit black ice. It doesn’t matter if you have four-wheel drive or what vehicle you’re in. If you hit black ice, there’s a chance you’ll slide and wreck,” she said.

Rushworth also said it’s a good idea for motorists to have a full tank of gas in the winter, extra clothes and blankets packed in case something happens.