By Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Highway crews are getting ready to prep the roads. And there are reasons to believe the job might go more smoothly than in years past.

Now that Monday’s heavy rain has stopped in our area, PennDOT’s brining operation can begin in anticipation of Wednesday’s storm.

The Philadelphia region is expected to get its first significant snowfall of the winter season and PennDOT is readying plans to keep the roads safe.

“Today we’re getting all of our trucks ready, making sure they’re ready to go and then tomorrow, once the rain clears up, we will be brining,” said Chelsea Lacey-Mabe with PennDOT.

The brining operation will begin once the day’s heavy rainfall ends. Philadelphia hasn’t seen significant snowfall in recent winters so the PennDOT salt supply is barely dented.

“We have a full supply of salt, over 120,000 tons of salt,” Lacey-Mabe said.

Dozens of plow tricks will hit the roads at the first sign of accumulation. With so many people working from home during the pandemic, navigating snow-covered roadways will be much easier.

“We will definitely be taking advantage of that fact that people are teleworking, and our plow routes are typically two to four hours, depending on the road and how much volume we see on those roads, they can take anywhere from two to four hours. So hopefully with the lower volume, our routes will be a shorter duration,” Lacey-Mabe said.

The PennDOT Incident Command Center will be activated on Wednesday, tracking incidents on the roads. Drivers are being urged to stay home if the highways become impassible and let plow trucks do their jobs.

“If you are sharing the road with a plow, we advise you to stay at least six car lengths behind the plow and to never pass a plow,” Lacey-Mabe said.

PennDOT has hundreds of its own trucks and they also have about 250 trucks they contracted with if it comes to that and they need more trucks on the roads.

Meanwhile, in this world of virtual learning, there is no such thing as a snow day.

Officials with the School District of Philadelphia say because of the 100% digital learning setting, inclement weather does not affect school days.

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