UPDATE: City plow crews working 12 hour shifts to remove snow

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WICHITA, Kan. -- City of Wichita crews are continuing to apply salt and sand to area roadways.

Employees in 50 trucks are working 12 hour shifts to remove the snow that fell over the weekend.

According to Alan King, director of Public Works, crews began applying the salt-sand mix on Saturday when freezing rain and drizzle began to freeze city streets. They began plowing on Sunday during the snow.

King said the late snowfall Sunday night undid what city crews had accomplished earlier in the day, but that drivers should expect to see conditions improve during the day and on the way home from work. Even though temperatures remain well below freezing, the sunshine is also expected to help with melting.

After the sun goes down, some areas will re-freeze.

The decision will be made late Monday night into Tuesday whether to continue using the salt-sand mixture. King said crews have already applied a lot of the mix so the supply is running low, but they are expecting to get more in.

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The City of Wichita Public Work's Department is utilizing all of its resources in a war against weather. A March snow storm is causing slick roads and multiple car accidents.

Public Works crew members are working in 12 hour shifts. Supervisor Andre Wilson said that the work can be really hard on his crew of plow operators. "It's tiresome, we rotate on in-between shifts, its 12 on, 12 off, we try to make sure that the guys are getting a little bit of rest when they can" Andre said, "we try to stay busy and stay on top of all the roads and the weather and make sure that the roads are safe."

Wilson has been an employee of the city for 10 years and worked his way to be a supervisor. His job is to keep the roads clear inside his substations coverage area. His title does not stop him from getting outside and helping out; he still drives a snow plow and has a route he is responsible for.

A big problem for snow plow operators are people driving dangerously around their big trucks. Wilson said that many people end up wrecking trying to get around plow. His advice for people when they see a snow plow approaching or in front of them is to slow down and move over, out of the way of the snow plow.

There are 50 snow plows and plenty of salt/sand mixture to help remove snow and help drivers gain traction. All snow plows are equipped with flashing lights to help people spot them, as well as signage on the trucks indicating a safe following distance.

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