DOT starting winter preparations - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

DOT starting winter preparations

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TRI-CITIES, WA - For many of us, when we heard snow in the forecast, we immediately thought of last year's insane winter weather. If there's any silver lining, road crews are doing what they can to prepare.

There's already snow at Snoqualmie Pass, but luckily none yet in the Tri-Cities. However, don't be surprised if you're already seeing Department of Transportation crews out on the roads.

We're told that in advance of this weekend's potential storm, they'll be putting down what's called pre-treatment on the roads.

And that's not the only way they're preparing.

It's hard to forget last year's snow-pocalpyse; especially for the DOT crews who worked around the clock. In order to keep up this winter, we're told they've already hired about 20 additional people.

"Those seasonal employees are driving snow plow trucks, we also hire extra mechanics that will be working on the equipment that we will be using to clear snow in the winter time," said Meagan Lott with WSDOT. "Those employees are now on shift gearing up and kind of preparing for what is expected to be another heavy winter."

Of course, there are a lot of things you can do right now to make sure your car is running in the best possible shape.

Snow tires are probably the most obvious, but there are several other things DOT recommends taking a look at.

"Making sure that you have a good set of windshield wipers, windshield wiper fluid, make sure that you have plenty of gas," Lott said.

We also learned today that car crashes are responsible for about 80 percent of pass closures.

The best way to find out exactly what's going on before you hit the road is to check the DOT website at