<strong>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea</strong> - Black ice appeared on Yongsan roads just before Thanksgiving, prompting the community to prepare for winter weather.

The U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan Safety Office urges community members to prepare for winter driving.

"You need prepare your vehicle, which means tune-up for the cold weather," said Russell Obey, U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan safety manager. "Always carry your snow chains, have all-season tires, and check the windshield blades and the anti-freeze fluid."

Russell also said black ice is one of the most dangerous winter hazards.

"Black ice is called black ice because it can't be seen," he said. "Slow down when ice is suspected and avoid being over-confident of your driving skills. Always wear seatbelts, too. They only work when you wear them."

When weather conditions affect traffic or force closures or delays, community members have several methods to get up-to-date information:

<img src=http://army-mil.net/dot.gif style=border:0px;vertical-align:middle> AFN Radio at 102.7 FM for the Yongsan area; for emergency situations, AFN will broadcast an announcement on the over-to-air Prime TV channel.
<img src=http://army-mil.net/dot.gif style=border:0px;vertical-align:middle> Call 738-ROAD, the road conditions hotline.
<img src=http://army-mil.net/dot.gif style=border:0px;vertical-align:middle> Commanders Access Channel (MWR Channel 3) for announcements.
<img src=http://army-mil.net/dot.gif style=border:0px;vertical-align:middle> The <a href="http://yongsan.korea.army.mil ">USAG-Yongsan web site</a>
<img src=http://army-mil.net/dot.gif style=border:0px;vertical-align:middle> The <a href="http://www.usfk.mil">USFK web site</a>; road condition information is located under the Safety tab.

In case of severe weather, road crews from the Directorate of Public Works are on-call. The crews immediately go into action to clear snow and ice from main roads and access control points. Workers use calcium chloride to melt icy roads. The crews ensure roads are passable with municipal tractors and sweeper attachments.

Hazardous roads, like those on MP Hill and Camp Coiner Hill, are given priority. Key roads necessary for operations are cleared immediately.

The Korean Service Corps Mobile Force will clear secondary roads and sidewalks.

At known hazardous areas, drivers who need traction during icy road conditions can get help. Yongsan Garrison has 98 sand containers at the foot of steep hills. The reddish boxes are loaded with sandbags.

"Yongsan is very hilly, and when it snows a lot, people can start sliding around," said Enrique Blanco, chief of the DPW Grounds. "The sand gives traction."

Blanco said the crews do their best to clear snow and ice off the road before people begin driving on it, but drivers can still find themselves stuck at the bottom of a hill.

"Sand should be scattered in front of all four wheels of a car," Blanco said. "Each container has several bags of sand in it. People are free to use it whenever they have a need."

Page last updated Tue November 25th, 2008 at 02:03