Alexandria City snow plow at work.
Beets. If you’re wondering what gives some of the anti-ice treatment a distinctive pinkish hue, the answer is beet juice. A beet-based concoction added to rock salt can help increase the mixture’s melting capacity. It’s one of the lessons from snowstorms across the country that Alexandria is applying to its 2017-2018 winter preparations.
At a City Council meeting on Dec. 12, city staff laid out the some of the new preparations planned for impending snowstorms. Following lessons from multi-state snow conferences, staff said the city will begin using brine before and during storms to keep ice from sticking to the roads. According to city staff, brine is a mixture of traditional rock salt with water that is more cost effective than just deploying rock salt to the city streets. Brine sprinkled before a storm binds to the street.
One of the other programs being implemented this year is a reverse 911 system. In cooperation with phone companies, the reverse 911 system can reach out to phones, even cell phones, whose owners live in an area expected to be heavily impacted by incoming weather. The update can advise citizens on what sort of precautions their area should be undergoing to prevent damages.