By Kerri Corrado

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — PennDOT is dealing with twin challenges as the latest winter storm bears down on the Philadelphia region. There is a shortage of snow clearing professionals.

As the snow soon rolls into the region, PennDOT crews are ramping up preparations, but clearing the roads has been a challenge this winter season with low manpower.

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“Sometimes we do not have enough operators to run our trucks,” said Brad Rudolph, a spokesperson for PennDOT. “It’s taxing and there has been staffing shortages with COVID that we’ve had to supplement rentals and contractors and help from other districts.”

PennDOT says this year around has been hard. Like many other workplaces, they are dealing with sick calls.

“It does happen here and there, where a number of people — a number of our operators get sick, we have trouble filling it and we have to make additional calls,” Rudolph said.

But as the snow falls, there is a job to be done and PennDOT is making sure there is a plan in place for every storm.

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“We have to find ways around it because these routes need to be plowed or treated,” Rudolph said.

With the upcoming rain and snow and leftover salt on the roadways from previous storms, Rudolph says they are in good shape.

“We did not have to pretreat or anti-ice major expressways or interstates today and there is also enough residual salt from lingering storms, previous storms, so that will help a bit,” he said.

PennDOT says it is ready to go when the flakes start and they are asking drivers to be mindful of the winter conditions.

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