YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Our meteorologists aren’t the only ones monitoring this impending storm. Road crews and utility workers are also watching the forecast and preparing for whatever comes our way.

Spokespeople with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and FirstEnergy say they’ve been watching the forecast and are prepared to get to work once the storm hits.

“As of today, we’re really waiting to see what the storm is going to do,” said ODOT spokesman Ray Marsch.

A storm right before Christmas Eve is bad timing for holiday travelers, but road crews say they’re prepared.

“We’re gonna be fully staffed with 40 crews waiting for that rain to turn into whatever it does. So we will be out and we will be ready to go,” Marsch said.

Marsch says the biggest challenge with this particular system is forecasted rain before the temperature turns dangerously cold.

“If that rain comes in Thursday night beforehand, we’re not gonna be out. You’re not going to see us during the rain putting down any material because it would simply just get washed off,” Marsch said.

FirstEnergy employees are also ready to deal with any possible power outages.

“Our line personnel work 365 days out of the year, 24/7. So when there’s an outage, it doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas day, our crews are ready to hit the ground running and get our customers back up and running,” said FirstEnergy spokesperson Lauren Siburkis.

It could be a possibility with high winds up to 50 miles per hour or higher in the forecast.

“We are a little concerned with the sustained high winds, so if there is a power line dangling or downed as a result of high winds in your neighborhood, please stay very, very far away. Always assume that it’s energized and dangerous and call 911 to report it,” Siburkis said.

Siburkis says it’s important for customers who lose power to report it because it helps FirstEnergy pinpoint the damage location and restore power faster.