Recent snow brings attention to winter weather preparedness

Driving in wintry weather conditions will soon be routine for hardy County and New Brunswick residents, but the first winter weather event usually causes problems.

"We kind of all get into that lull through the summer months and fall not having snow, snow all of the sudden is upon us, and sometimes we forget those simple clues we need to remember of driving safely in the snow."

Lt. Brain Harris of the Maine State Police says our recent October snow led to several dozen cars sliding off the road.

"If it's snowing, if there's snow on the road, if there's plow trucks, just be aware that you may be going under the speed limit. It may take you longer to get to your job, to your destination where you're going. And also be aware of the plow trucks that are out there and plowing the roads. Give them plenty of room to do their job and let them do their job safely."

"It's never a good idea to try to pass a plow truck. Yes, our trucks are going slow, but keep in mind the road you're traveling on has been treated. The road in front of the truck hasn't been treated."

Bob Watson, who manages the Northern Region of the Maine DOT area from roughly Medway north, says winter tires will also make a big difference over all season tires. There is still no substitution for driving safely in wintry conditions, especially freezing rain.

"What we run into in freezing rain is, is you go out, you treat the roads with salt, the roads will bare up, but the roads stay wet because of that rain, and then generally depending on the temperatures it can be within an hour after the road the road's glazed over again."

"And the most dangerous thing you've got to think about is, when you get ice with wind. Because when you get iced up trees and stuff like that and the wind follow it, a lot of those trees break and they take out your power."

Warning Coordination Meteorologist Donny Dumont with the National Weather service says having an alternate heat source that doesn't require electiricty would be good to have during the cold winter months.

"A lot of people still have an old fashioned wood stove works great. Might not need it all the time, but at least to have a cord of wood, that's also a very good thing."

Being sure your home is winterized is also important, as without heat, pipes can burst.