ADA COUNTY, Idaho — Winter weather usually creates headaches on the roads for traveling and the Treasure Valley’s first snowstorm of the year is expected to hit later this week.
Both the Ada County Highway District and the Idaho Transportation Department said they constantly track the conditions of a snowstorm, and they want to make sure they target each one based on the conditions.
Crews are waiting for the storm to make its way into the Treasure Valley right before Thanksgiving. Crews will be putting down magnesium chloride before the storm hits to try and prevent the snow from sticking to the roads, and they’ll treat the roads during the storm with a mixture of salt and sand.
“We are prepared for anything that Mother Nature throws at us this winter,” Natalie Shaver, an ACHD spokesperson, said. “Anybody driving in Ada County will likely see our snowplow operators out they're cleaning the roads and treating the roads as best they can.”
This will be the first snowstorm in the valley this winter, which means many people may have forgotten what that means and how-to drive-in winter conditions.
“Slow down, that's the biggest thing with slick roads or snow-covered roads,” Boise Police Corporal Kyle Wills said. “Planning to take more time to get to your destination, then you feel like you don't have to be in a hurry.”
Wills told KTVB that the department always sees a lot of car crashes on the roads when the first snow comes for the season.
“I think folks get a little overconfident of their ability to drive in the snow,” he said. “Four Wheel drive is in fact that, its four-wheel drive. It’s what helps move the vehicle on slicker snow-covered roads, but four-wheel drive does nothing to stop a vehicle any more quickly.”
The storm is coming at a time when hundreds of thousands of Idahoans are expected to travel for the holiday.
“A little under 300,000 Idahoans are going to be traveling and 55.3 million Americans nationwide," AAA Idaho Spokesperson Matthew Condy said. “It’s going to be very busy on the roads and at the airports.”
The busiest day on the roads will be Tuesday, while the busiest day in the air is expected to be on Wednesday, according to Condy.
“Thanksgiving is so tightly defined that people are trying to slam, and hit that one window of opportunity,” Condy said.