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Harrisonburg Public Works gets ready for snow with annual ‘Snow Plow Rodeo’

View from the sky of the track drivers needed to drive through.
View from the sky of the track drivers needed to drive through.(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 4:21 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The leaves will be falling soon here in the Valley, but Harrisonburg’s Department of Public Works is already gearing up for the city’s first snowfall when it happens.

Friday morning drivers went over their routes for this winter and later had the chance to test their skills out on the track.

In the back parking lot of the public works, facility cones were set up with street signs and obstacles.

Kelly Adams with Harrisonburg Public Works says drivers are timed through the course, and when they make an error time is added to their overall score.

“You get out there in the plow and you go really really slow so that you don’t knock any of the cones over and you go through this obstacle course,” Adams said. “You have to maneuver through the cones that are very close together you have to back up and pull through and wiggle through the various cone obstacles.”

She says the course is designed to give drivers real-world circumstances and dust the rust off the vehicles and their driving skills.

“Depending upon the severity of the storm sometimes it takes a while so being able to well maneuver the vehicle helps them be efficient in running their snow routes,” Adams said.

The driver with the fastest time also receives bragging rights for the year.

Adam says every year they hope for a small amount of snowfall but asks when snow and ice do hit to stay off the roads and give trucks extra space.

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