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Berks County road crews prep for weekend storm

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 14 2013 05:48:15 AM CST

Road crews prep for weekend storm

MUHELENBERG TWP., Pa. -

A major weapon in the fight against Saturday's snow storm has arrived to Berks County.

It's called salt.

In the borough of Wernersville, officials received 85 tons of salt.

In Reading, authorities say they have been receiving shipments of salt all week, totaling 400 tons.

"While the other storm was still being cleaned up, we were already in motion to prepare for this storm," said Ralph Johnson head of Public Works.

Reading's salt was purchased from a distributor in Northampton County for about $53 a ton, authorities said. Officials call it a bargain.

"Between the lowest bidder and the second bidder, there was a $4 savings per ton, and that, over the course of the winter, is a lot of money saved for the city," said Johnson.

Reading has 12 trucks and will tackle the city streets once the snow starts to fall.

"Just enough, but it's enough to keep it going and keep the trucks out and trying to stay on top of it. We wish we had more," said David Ruyak, operations division manager for Public Works in Reading.

PennDOT says it has 209 trucks prepared to attack its six-county region.

Sinking Spring has issued a Snow Emergency Declaration to start at 5 a.m., Saturday.

The Berks County Parks and Recreation also says Berks County parks will be closed during the storm.

"In anticipation of tomorrow's winter storm and attendant treacherous travel conditions, all Berks County parks will be closed and programming cancelled," said Donna Reed, publicity coordinator for Berks County Parks and Recreation Dept.

PennDOT says there is already leftover salt on the roadways from the previous two storms this week, which should help melt the first inch of snow, but once accumulation hits two inches, authorities say all trucks will be dispatched.