Public Works

Public Works Blog

Helping out your county snowplow operators this winter

Posted On: December 06, 2017

Snow removal policies apply even in an emergency

Chances are if you live in Chelan County, you’ve come across a county snowplow at work.

When a snow event hits, county snowplows take to the roads weekdays around 5 a.m. The 30-ton red trucks plow snow from the front while spreading anti-icing materials from the back. Snowplow operators work quickly, typically clearing a roadway in minutes before moving onto the next stretch of snow-covered roadway.

While snowplow operators are working hard to keep people safe on county roads, they need a little help from the traveling public. We’re passing along five tips on how you can do your part to travel safely alongside the county snowplows:

1.When you find yourself driving behind a snowplow, stay at least 150 feet back (that’s about 12 car lengths). It’s especially important to maintain that distance at intersections or on grades, in case the snowplow loses traction on the icy road. Keeping your distance also allows for that extra space needed for the spreading of anti-icing materials from the rear of the truck.

2.Whether traveling behind the snowplow or approaching it, keep an eye out for snow and other debris that may fly off the plow or a sander. In addition, snowplows can throw up a cloud of snow that may reduce your visibility. Never drive into a snow cloud – it could conceal a snowplow that’s in front of you.

3. When approaching a snowplow, stay out of the way and pull to the right as far as safely possible. The plows mounted on the trucks are 12 feet wide. County roads range from 16 feet to 35 feet wide. That means the plow may be slightly over the center line while working on area roads.

4. If you find yourself behind a snowplow, consider staying put. It’s best not to pass a snowplow in wintery conditions. Keep in mind that snowplow drivers oftentimes have obstacles in the roadway, such as parked cars, that they may have to suddenly avoid.

5. As in any good practice, when pulling out of a driveway, always assume the driver cannot see you. Take extra precaution to look for an approaching snowplow. Given the winter conditions and the size of the truck, it can take a snowplow longer to stop.

Along with the above on-the-road tips, there are a few things you can do at home to help out your county snowplow operator. Don’t park anything in the roadway during the winter and keep other obstacles, such as garbage cans, out of the street. In addition, don’t shovel snow from your driveway into the roadway. Not only is it against county code, but it can create an obstruction for the county plow and the traveling public.

And, lastly, if you clear a space before your driveway, on the down traffic side, you’ve made some room for the snow the plow is pushing along the roadway toward your property. This will help increase your chances that snow from the plow will be deposited in the cleared space, not back in your freshly-shoveled driveway. 

Share This Page...

Older Articles

Snow removal policies apply even in an emergency

Posted On: January 19, 2022


Snow removal policies apply even in an emergency

Chelan County is clarifying its snow removal policies with the public after receiving calls from frustrated citizens who were not prepared for the sig...

Read More arrow_forward

Post-wildfire safety measures being put in place near 25-Mile Creek

Posted On: November 22, 2021

Post-wildfire safety measures being put in place near 25-Mile Creek

While the wildland firefighters are now gone, that doesn’t mean work on the Twenty-Five Mile Fire is over. Chelan County has been not only evaluating ...

Read More arrow_forward

GIS tech creates emergency incidents map for wildfire response

Posted On: October 01, 2021

GIS tech creates emergency incidents map for wildfire response

Chelan County Public Works GIS technician Lori Beidler will be honored in October by the Washington Chapter of the American Public Works Association f...

Read More arrow_forward

CCPW operators respond to cyclist in need of help

Posted On: April 12, 2021


CCPW operators respond to cyclist in need of help

Chelan County Public Works operators Earl Griffith and Curtis McClellan were in the right place at the right time when they came upon a stranded bicyc...

Read More arrow_forward

2021 shaping up to be a busy construction year

Posted On: April 05, 2021


2021 shaping up to be a busy construction year

2021 is shaping up to be an active construction year for Chelan County Public Works. We are headed into the second year of the largest construction pr...

Read More arrow_forward

With river construction comes underwater sound monitoring

Posted On: August 12, 2020

With river construction comes underwater sound monitoring

At the West Cashmere Bridge replacement project, you might get the chance to see an “acoustician” on site when the contractor is driving steel pilings...

Read More arrow_forward

In-water work begins July 15 on West Cashmere Bridge project

Posted On: July 13, 2020

In-water work begins July 15 on West Cashmere Bridge project

With in-water construction related to the West Cashmere Bridge replacement project scheduled to begin July 15, Chelan County reminds recreationists on...

Read More arrow_forward

Will the chip sealing crew be in your area this summer?

Posted On: June 15, 2020

Will the chip sealing crew be in your area this summer?

This year, the county road crew starts chip sealing the week of June 22. Do you know if they'll be on your street?...

Read More arrow_forward

Road crews hit the road with COVID precautions in place

Posted On: June 04, 2020

Road crews hit the road with COVID precautions in place

Chelan County road crews are back on the road in full force after more than two months of working with reduced crew sizes during the governor’s Stay H...

Read More arrow_forward

Headed to the MRWF? Secure that load for safe travels!

Posted On: December 11, 2019

Headed to the MRWF? Secure that load for safe travels!

The new Chelan County Moderate Risk Waste Facility is open to the public. The facility is at 3612 Highway 97A in Wenatchee....

Read More arrow_forward

Chelan County Calendar

Upcoming events and schedules at the county!

  • 21
    Dec 2022
    01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Hearing Examiner - December 21, 2022

    Posted by: Community Development

    By Zoom Video Conference
  • 14
    Dec 2022
    06:00 PM - 09:00 PM

    Planning Commission - December 14, 2022

    Posted by: Community Development

    400 Douglas Street
  • 10
    Dec 2022
    09:00 AM - 01:00 PM

    December Parenting Class - English Only

    Posted by: Superior Court Clerk

    Supporting Children Through Divorce is a four-hour educational program designed to help parents focus on the needs of their children during and after divorce and separation.

    Chelan County Administration Building - Enter building from Douglas Street
  • 29
    Nov 2022
    09:30 AM - 10:30 AM

    Public Meeting: Public Canvassing Board Meetings

    Posted by: Chelan County Elections

    The Canvassing Board of Chelan County, pursuant to RCW 29A.60.160, will hold public meetings at the dates and times listed below. The meetings of the Canvassing Board are open, public meetings under the applicable provisions of chapter 42.30 RCW, and each meeting shall be continued until the activity for which the meeting is held has been completed.

    Chelan County Auditor’s Office
  • 29
    Nov 2022
    01:30 PM - 02:00 PM

    Public Meeting: Certify Election

    Posted by: Chelan County Elections

    The Canvassing Board of Chelan County, pursuant to RCW 29A.60.160, will hold public meetings at the dates and times listed below. The meetings of the Canvassing Board are open, public meetings under the applicable provisions of chapter 42.30 RCW, and each meeting shall be continued until the activity for which the meeting is held has been completed.

    Chelan County Auditor’s Office