BOZEMAN, Montana: Increasingly large numbers of people driving through U.S. states may encounter difficulties in navigating snow-covered roadways, or be compelled to postpone their travel plans due to a shortage of snowplow operators.
Having fewer plows on the roads might make driving more hazardous, due to winter storms that began December 10 and are piling on snow from the Western U.S. to the Upper Great Lakes.
Snow has struck from northwest Washington state to Utah, including Montana and Wyoming in the Rocky Mountains. However, each of these states have encountered difficulties in hiring sufficient staff to perform plowing jobs, which pay relatively low wages and that necessitate holding a truck drivers’ license, in addition to having to work during irregular hours and in perilous situations.
“We want the travelling public to understand why it could take longer this season to clear highways during winter storms,” according to Jon Swartz, the maintenance administrator at the Montana Department of Transportation, which is short 90 plow drivers.
“Knowing this helps motorists to plan ahead and adjust or even delay travel plans,” Swartz added, as quoted by the Associated Press.