BEHIND THE SCENES: FOX21 rides along with an El Paso County snowplow

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — When a winter storm hits, the last thing most of us want to do is get out and drive, but a lot of times we don’t have a choice. If it weren’t for the work done by the city and county road crews, traveling in snowy conditions would be even more of a nightmare than it already is.

El Paso County Transportation is responsible for clearing more than 2,000 miles of roads. FOX21 got a behind the scenes look at what goes in to the tough job of keeping the streets safe.

“The biggest thing that I want to do when we go out is to get everyone home safe,” El Paso County snowplow driver and maintenance worker Amanda Roderick said.

That can be a hard job, especially in southern Colorado.

“It becomes second nature,” said Roderick. “You’ve always got to watch in front of you, watching behind you, beside you. You’re making sure that you’re sanding where you need to, the plow’s pointed in the right direction.”

El Paso County is the largest in the state as far as area.

“A lot of people don’t think about the county’s being in town,” Roderick said. “Everyone thinks that it’s out east. We do a lot in town. We do Cimarron Hills. We do Park Vista, Black Forest. There are a lot of areas that people don’t know that we have.”

She said every storm brings a new obstacle.

“This one’s really powdery,” Roderick said. “There are some storms where it’s really wet and heavy snow.”

But the work does have its advantages.

“Either shift that we work, whether it’s the morning or the evening shift, you’re either going to see a sunrise or sunset hopefully, and when you can see that on top of the snow, you really remember why you’re here,” said Roderick.

“I love coming to work every day and being able to know that what I do touches the whole county,” Roderick said, “Whether it’s plowing or signs or anything that we do, all of us have a job that touches the whole county so it’s so nice to be able to come in and see that we did something and see the progress throughout the day.”

El Paso County Office of Emergency Preparedness has a booklet with tips on how to prepare for a winter storm. For more information, visit their website or head to .

>> Learn more about snow removal in El Paso County, including which roads are plowed first. 

>> See a map of snow removal routes in Colorado Springs. 

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