HELENA — The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) has more than 500 snow plows across the state.
Crews told MTN they’re ready to hit the roads and tackle the winter weather.
MDT maintains 25,000 miles of lane roads and plows four million miles of road lanes.
During a significant winter storm across the state, MDT plows combined travel is enough to circle the earth twice.
The Helena unit alone is responsible for 500 lane miles of road.
Matt Komac, Helena Section crew leader, says people will start seeing the plows once the temperature drops.
“We will be out there keeping an eye on our bridge decks even if you don’t see a flake,” said Komac. “But as soon as you see a flake, you will see a snow plow. We’re 24-7 and we don’t goof around.”
Komac said maintenance on the vehicles is a continuous process throughout the year since they’re also used as dump trucks in the summer months.
“If there’s anything that’s not working we make sure we get it fixed,” said Komac
Each time a truck goes out to plow the driver performs a comprehensive checklist to make sure the vehicle is in good working conditions.
MDT asks drivers to stay at least five car lengths back from plows while they are working to clear the roads.
The City of Helena say they’ve also been working the past week to get ready for the incoming storm system.
There will be 10 drivers working 12 hour shifts for the storm.
People are asked to remove their vehicles from designated snow routes.
The City said they’re only planning on towing vehicles that pose a safety hazard, and hope to use the storm as a soft roll out to make people aware it’s winter weather season.
Residents are responsible for clearing sidewalks and should push snow into their yards or the boulevard, not into streets.