Crews battle black ice across the area - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Crews battle black ice across the area

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While the Star City didn’t see much snow accumulation during the day, nightfall is a different story.

The ground hit freezing temperature shortly after nightfall and started to collect the snow. The melted snow from earlier however is a much bigger problem.

Icy roadways have already gotten the best of many drivers. The more it snows. The colder it gets, roadways become a more dangerous place to be as black ice covers the asphalt.

WSLS road along with snow plow drivers in Roanoke City. Jamie King who has worked for Roanoke for two years knows the ends and outs of where the slick spots form.

“I'm starting to see snow everywhere: Franklin Road, Downtown, Elm Avenue,” King radioed.

"Okay 10-4. Appreciate the report," dispatch responded back.

A snowy forecast for these guys means 12 hour shifts salting the roads. Preparing for the storm is something King says snow plow drivers like him have to play by ear.

"The radar didn't even show this coming in before we left the shop,” King said.

Knowing when the storm will hit and how hard isn’t an exact science. But these guys, how to handle it is.

They are the eyes and ears of the storm and look for signs of accumulation all day.

"South Roanoke and higher elevations through town start seeing ice before the rest of the city so when I start hearing people on the radio saying that Peak wood has ice than I can bet that it might start getting bad through here,” King said.

It seems that the storm hit Roanoke all at once. The radio hooked to King’s dashboard was full of chatter from drivers stationed all over the city, reporting of where the slick spots are located.

King says bridges are always slickest because they freeze faster. They pay extra attention to each bridge throughout the city, as well as their designated areas.

"Anytime the pavement temperature gets below thirty two, you’re going to have some freezing. When it's like this all day it snowed, but it melted when it hit the pavement as it gets colder over the night puddles and things are going to freeze over and cause black ice."

During our ride, just before dark, those roadways started to freeze.

"It wasn't piling up on the roads like this all day but it has cooled enough that we are starting to see snow on the road."

King says with freezing temperatures throughout the night, they expect roadways to get worse. But these crews will be working through the night to make your way to work in the morning a little easier.

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