ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Snow plows are preparing for a busy night ahead as a snowstorm could bring between 3 to 8 inches to parts of the Southern Tier. In Chemung County, Commissioner of Public Works Andy Avery says crews are ready to go. “The main thing is we want to make sure we had enough material at our different sites, whether that’s salt-sand mix or straight salt, and we do,” said Avery. “We also wanted to make sure that all of our vehicles were ready and out of the garage. We still had one vehicle at the city shop that was being worked on, but it should be done by the end of the day. So we’re in good shape. No plowing equipment is down, we have the material and everybody is aware that they’ll likely be working late tonight and again early in the morning.”

Avery said 14 or 15 plows will be clearing county roads. Another 12 plows will be clearing the streets of Elmira.

“Generally, we like to have our crews out till around 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock at night and get them home, because we don’t have enough staff to do 24 hour around the clock shifts,” said Avery. “Then we try to get them back in at 3 or 4 in the morning, depending on the storm. If it’s a really bad storm, they’ll stay longer. It just depends on the type of the storm and the severity when it hits.”

Avery says no matter how much snow is expected in the forecast, plows and salt spreaders stick to the same strategy.

“We’re looking at four to seven inches in Chemung County, most likely, and that’s what we’re planning for. The reality is though, whether it’s an inch or six inches, it’s the same approach for us. We’re still putting down material, we’re still putting down a plow to scrape it clean. So it really doesn’t make too much difference can take a little longer, but generally not too much longer.”

Avery has this message for drivers who will be out on the roads: “Don’t pass the plow truck. Let them do their job. They’re there to provide safety for all the drivers of the road. And they want to get home safely as well. So give them space. Be patient, give yourself extra time to get to work or your destination and everything should go well.”