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Montgomery County Snow Plows Prepare For Winter

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Montgomery County snow plows are preparing for this winter.
Matt Bush
Montgomery County snow plows are preparing for this winter.

The salt is already being stockpiled at the Gaithersburg depot near the Shady Grove Metro station. The facility opened less than a month ago, and county officials say it is the largest salt barn on the east coast. But it's not the only debut for this winter. Four sensors, that look similar to the traffic and speed cameras many Montgomery County drivers are all too familiar with, will be stationed along major roads says Keith Compton, the head of the county's snow team.

"It is a sensor," he says. "It shoots a beam to the pavement. It measures the dew point, the ambient temperature, and the pavement temperature. It will send alerts to my phone, and the phones of my key personnel."

Those alerts mean those roads need to be treated in order to prevent black ice. Compton touted them during his yearly "pep-talk" to drivers at the Gaithersburg depot today.

It's unclear how much these sensors will be needed. Compton says AccuWeather is forecasting a mild winter, while the Farmers Almanac is calling for a cold, wet and white winter.

Compton, himself, believes it's going to be a "pretty busy winter."

"Usually when my arthritis flares up a little bit, it snows a lot," he says.

Which means those new sensors might get quite a workout.

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