Freezing rain wrecks push Spokane leaders to review deicing plan



Posted on December 2, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 2 at 7:40 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--The Washington State Patrol responded to 60 wrecks in Spokane County on Friday due to freezing rain.

Crashes on the freeway are not handled by the City. KREM 2 News asked Spokane leaders if they have a plan to react better the next time freezing rain hits.

WATCH: Slick roads lead to dozens of crashes in Spokane County

City leaders said deicing roads before winter weather hits the Spokane area is an important step to preventing dangerous conditions for drivers.

"That's one tool we have that you don't have to wait around for the snow and we're looking at how did we apply it, when did we apply it and whether we could have done it sooner or better,” said Spokane Mayor David Condon.

Drivers struggled to get around the South Hill on Friday. They complained of cars slipping on the roads.

City employees were working a holiday shift which limits how early they start clearing roads. They still work most of the day and night according to officials.

Leaders said they still look to the forecast to determine if they should bring in more crews.

"There's certain mechanisms we're allowed to do and we can look at, in particularly how early we can bring them on so it's all things we can constantly look at,” said Condon.

The snow fall never got high enough to switch to a 24-hour crew shift on Friday. City leaders said they can decide to bring in more crews even if there is not more snow in the forecast. They said the City is always trying to improve their response to winter weather.

"We're constantly reviewing what we're doing to see if we can do better, especially in some of these key hilly areas and really looking at how our routes are,” said Condon.

City staff said they can make changes based on Friday’s conditions so cars do not struggle as much driving in the next storm.