Local administrations prepare for winter weather with snow removal exercises

It might only be October but local authorities aren't wasting any time preparing for winter weather that is all but guaranteed to arrive over the next few months.

Officials in Maryland and D.C. were out Friday conducting dry runs of the winter weather plans they hope will keep the region open for business even if we get hit by the white stuff. (Check out FOX 5's WINTER 2016-17 OUTLOOK for a glance at what appears to be an ABOVE NORMAL SNOWFALL season)

FOX 5's Bob Barnard spoke with Chris Shorter, Director of the D.C. Department of Public Works, at the Farragut Salt Dome in the northeast. Shorter assured him that the city was prepared to handle the snow. "Absolutely," he said when Barnard asked if D.C. had enough people and equipment to handle the season's snowfall. He said 850 employees participate in the D.C. snow program and 350 of them were participating in Friday's exercise.

Shorter said the purpose of Friday's dry run was to test the routes that snow plow drivers will take. He said workers in the city's administrative offices and in the command centers will also be a part of the training session.

"If you see our trucks on the street, please don't get too close. Know that we're testing today and that this is going to help us prepare for the season ahead," Shorter said. "We consider every District street important and so we're going to get there as quickly as possible."

Stay ahead of the winter weather! Here are the top 5 things you need to know about our winter forecast for the upcoming season: http://www.fox5dc.com/weather/213680583-story