De-icer is no match for icy roads - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

De-icer is no match for icy roads

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

The de-icer just wasn't working right for crews Wednesday.

"Just the way it kinda stuck to the road with a really thin sheet of ice that was causing us not to get the action that we need for that de-icer to work,"  City of Spokane spokeswoman Marlene Feist told KHQ.

In the meantime, miles and miles of streets were getting too slick to drive. It was a transformation so sudden, it shocked motorists like Barb Richey - who had had no problem getting to the gym this morning.

"I came back and my driveway was pretty much infused with cars backed into each other and wrecked," said Barb.

Students on a school bus struggling uphill were late to class after getting a physics lesson on friction-less surfaces.

 Our own photographer Tim Martin found walking to be nearly impossible on the icy roadway where the bus got stuck.  

 A solution is in the works - too late for many - but effective nonetheless.

"We found that with sand was much more effective when we switched over to that," Feist said.

Spokane County Communication Manager Martha Wheatley-Billeter says at times they mix dry de-icer in with the sand as they are spreading it.

 "It's going to hold better. If we put down a liquid de-icer when we have so much rain in the forecast it will simply run off into the storm drains," said Spokane County Communications Manager Martha Wheatley-Billeter.

The county says they have 2,100 miles of road to treat and only 90 pieces of equipment, so not every road can be treated at once.

"You need to adjust your driving for the weather conditions and road conditions," said Martha Lou. 

The roads are slick because of the rain, and the city asks drivers to please drive slow and give yourself extra follow room.

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