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CT DOT names winners of snowplows as state scrambles for drivers

The Department of Transportation has 175 positions left to fill as winter begins.

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. — While it’s raining now, this time of year, it could just as easily be snow or ice falling from the sky.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is looking ahead to this winter, and unveiling the newest members of its fleet.

“Scoop Dogg”, "Plowzilla", "Buzz Iceclear", and "Husky McSalty", who're the winners of the state’s “name the snowplow” contest, will be hitting the streets this winter.

The Department of Transportation’s Josh Morgan said staffing is still short, but the state has 900 drivers and more than 600 trucks ready to roll this winter.

“We are experiencing some staffing challenges, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get the jobs done,” Morgan told FOX61, adding that the department still has 175 positions to fill.

Crew leader Jonathan Kardys said it is a rewarding job but comes with challenges. 

“It’s exhausting sometimes. Traffic doesn’t help, but we do everything we can to stay as safe as possible,” Kardys said.

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The department’s “storm room” will be up and running during all weather events, tracking each piece of equipment on the roads, and monitoring the changing conditions throughout the state.  They use a private weather service and local news to monitor forecasts, but in real-time can see conditions on the ground.

“Our trucks have technology built into them, so they can tell what the air temperature is and what the pavement temperature is,” Morgan said.

Some of that information, including any incidents on roads relayed through plow operators, is shared with third-party apps, including Waze.

Ryan Breton is a meteorologist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at rbreton@fox61.com. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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