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Sunshine in Phoenix is not an obstacle to snow-plow driver training.

The Arizona Department of Transportation put about a dozen snow-plow operators through a refresher course Wednesday to prepare for winter-weather duties.

Drivers strapped into a simulator to re-familiarize themselves with operating machinery in snowy conditions.

"The simulator is a really a key part of our training," said ADOT spokesman Doug Nintzel. "It allows us to put our drivers through the scenarios they might face out there."

Scenarios include black ice, animals on the road and tunnels.

Last year ADOT spent almost $8 million on snow removal and has replaced 16 snow plows in the fleet of 202 at the cost of about $250,000 apiece.

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