With freezing rain and sleet in Beatrice's forecast, the Beatrice street department took some precautions and helped ease some of the potential slickness early Thursday morning.
Street Superintendent Jason Moore said the city’s snowplows hit the streets around 3 a.m. on Thursday to clear the emergency snow routes and were just finishing up their residential routes around 3 p.m. The main roads were treated with ice and looked wet, which was a good thing, Moore said.
The temperature Thursday morning was between 20 and 25 degrees, which Moore said is an ideal temperature for melting. The roads are "chemically wet," meaning that dissolved salt and water will sit on the streets, he said, and hopefully, it would be enough to prevent slippery patches.
The city only scrapes snow from residential streets, but the city doesn’t salt them, so Moore urged caution if it gets icy outside. The best bet would be to use common sense and just stay home, he said.
With sleet and drizzle in the forecast up until midnight on Thursday, Moore said he is pretty sure the city put enough salt down to avoid ice, if the precipitation doesn’t last too long.
Sleet is actually preferable to drizzle, he said, because when the drizzle builds up on the cold pavement, that’s when black ice starts to form, putting a smooth coat of clear ice on everything.
“Freezing drizzle, that's a real bear when it comes to doing snow,” Moore said. “Because it's difficult for everything to stop, whether you're a snow plow or a Smart Car, it doesn't matter.”