GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - With a lake effect snow warning effective until Saturday, road crews will be working hard to keep West Michigan highways and side roads clear. In Kent County, 30 plow and salt trucks will work through the night.
Jerry Byrne, Director of Maintenance for the Kent County Road Commission says plow drivers divide the work over CB radio, but preparing for the storm starts on their computers and smart phones.
"We talk amongst ourselves, we also watch the radar constantly-- there's one in front of my desk that's on 24/7 and we have it on our cell phones, so we can watch the radar constantly."
The road commission also relies on dispatchers to help determine where conditions are the worst. Byrne says Kent County still has plenty of road salt left for the rest of winter.
Also prepared for the return of winter and the potential for one foot of new snow: Jack's Lawn Service & Snowplowing, one of the area's largest private plowing services.
"This is as good as it gets-- this is what we live for in the winter," says Bruce VanderVennen, president of Jack's Lawn Service & Snowplowing.
The service has 19 trucks and tractors, plus eight people shoveling, plowing, and clearing neighborhoods throughout Kent County. VanderVennen says everyone is assigned a route and some trucks are monitored through a new system that cuts down on radio and phone calls.
"We use a GPS tracking system called Operasoft that plugs in all of our customers, so we know where they're at. We also have a few of our trucks on GPS tracking, so we can see where they're at and know where our customers are based on where those trucks are."