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Carroll County Road Crews Set to Cope with Ice, Snow
, Courier Staff Writer
Saturday, December 29, 2012 4:00 AM
The trucks are staged and ready to roll at the Carroll County Highway Garage in Prestonville.
Salt and cinder bins are side-by-side at the Carroll County Highway Garage in Prestonville. Like many other communities, Carroll County’s budget benefited from the lack of snow last year, allowing them to hold over their contracted salt deliveries for this year’s needs. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie)
County road crews returned to clearing snow from roadways with salt and cinders for the first time this year after the Courierarea received more snow in one day this week than during the entire winter last year.
Carroll County, Ky., crews prepared for the winter storm much like other area road departments and were ready for whatever the amount of snow might have been - from a blizzard to just a dusting. Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold "Shorty" Tomlinson said crews were ready during the early morning hours Wednesday, but rain was the only thing coating the roads when the department reported.
"It was hard to pinpoint," Tomlinson said of Wednesday's snow system that moved through Indiana and Kentucky.
Yet, when the snow finally moved into the area later in the day, crews were ready to respond to clear the county's roads.
"They were able to get on it in a pretty timely fashion," he said.
Crews spread a mixture of salt and cinders to help motorists get to where they needed to be safely during the snowfall and throughout the evening as the slush left by the snow turned to ice.
"(The mixture) does a good job on the roads," he said. "You get good traction."
An unfulfilled contract for 1,000 tons of salt from last year was simply carried over after the mild winter. Even though the county garage in Prestonville can't accommodate the 1,000 tons of salt, the contracted company delivers partial loads to the garage throughout the year. The garage has about 350 tons on hand at any given time to treat roads.
Each of the county's seven drivers have areas they patrol to clear snow and ice, Tomlinson said, but hills do take priority to allow vehicles to pass safely.
"People want to go," he said, so roads have to be kept in the best condition possible during inclement weather. "This day and time they just want the roads clear."
And people let the county know when roads need attention for snow removal - even if the county isn't responsible for them. Tomlinson said he received a few phone calls Wednesday about slick spots, but most calls pertained to the state roads which the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet clears. Only one of the few phone calls alerted the county to a road in their jurisdiction.
Tomlinson contacted the state department to help area residents pass on their messages of concern.
"We were pretty fortunate," he said of the Wednesday snowfall that had caused blizzard warnings to be issued for several counties in Kentucky and Indiana. "We did have some slick roads."
Crews are also prepared for the next round of snow that may blanket the area this weekend with an additional one to three inches of snow according to the National Weather Service in Louisville. The area will be under a winter weather advisory for the area from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. today.
Still, crews are prepared for whatever weather might come their way this season - plus the extra hours to keep the roads cleared.
"We had to go back out and touch up things (Thursday)," he said, noting the wind and black ice continued to cause small driving issues following the snowfall. "The main thing is public safety."
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