As many of you already know, Buffalo got hit with multiple snowstorms that left hundreds of drivers stranded this November. With up to 7 feet of snow, it was a situation that some studies suggest cost the U.S. economy more than $1 million an hour. The possibility of more snow storms this winter and winters to come leaves truckers and transportation officials concerned.
Dan Gullickson, a natural recourse program coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Transportation said, “We spent over $130 million on snow and ice last winter, and in a typical winter we probably would have spent only $50 million to $55 million a year.”
Fleet carriers are taking more and more preparations each year with many of them ordering salt for their facilities during the summer months and also machines to remove snow from the trailers with a hefty price tag of $25,000 each. According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 70% of the nation’s roads are located in snowy areas. The snow problem will increase with warmer winter temperatures that make snow wet and heavy and more costly to clear. Carriers are not the only ones spending big cash on snow precautions this year. State and local governments spend around $2.3 million annually on snow clearance alone.
Some states, such as Minnesota, are experimenting with “living” snow fences. The state will pay farmers to leave around 6 rows of corn up along the highway in order to prevent some of the snow from blowing onto the road and forming drifts. Shrubs and bushes are also being used.
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