Thursday, January 13, 2011
Deep snow blankets county
By SUE WATSON
Marshall County residents woke up to a winter wonderland Monday, following a night of snow that dumped from four to as much as 11 inches across the area.
“Mister Winter” began his sweep northward at the southernmost edge of the county at Cornersville, starting with sleet at around 3:15 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 9, according to county administrator Larry Hall. That began quickly changing to snow as he made his way to the county road and bridge warehouse.
Sleet arrived in Holly Springs at about 4 p.m. Sunday and the town was silent without a single siren as mostly everyone except those who had to be out were snug inside. Some, like Barbara Taylor and Beth Breithaupt with The South Reporter, enjoyed homemade chili Sunday.
Tracy Shaw with the Holly Springs Utility Department reported 10 or more inches accumulation south of Holly Springs near Waterford on Wilson Golden Road. About 30 miles from Waterford, on North Red Banks Road, residents awoke to five inches on the ground. Linda Jones measured 11 inches at her house on Highway 310 near Laws Hill.
School closings were announced early in the evening Sunday and the board of supervisors meeting was cancelled Monday morning. The board has rescheduled its next meeting to Tuesday, Jan. 18. Offices are closed January 17 for Martin Luther King Day.
Core employees made their way to the courthouse Monday, including chancery clerk Chuck Thomas, circuit clerk Lucy Carpenter, tax collector Betty Byrd and tax assessor Juanita Dillard. Thomas said his office had two items to take care of Monday – payroll and chancery court.
Some businesses opened Monday with skeleton crews. Some closed early that afternoon.
City and county patrolling officers slowly streamed through town along with other traffic. Everywhere there was silence, in between the occasional vehicle tires making slushy and crunching noises over packed snow.
At the sheriff’s department only two employees could not make it in, said one employee. Deputies were busy helping folks get their stuck vehicles back on the roads.
County building and grounds workers were out early clearing sidewalks at the courthouse and parking lots in front of the tax office. The town cat moved about cautiously and lurked under parked cars where there was not snow.
In town overnight, city crews plowed major thoroughfares such as Van Dorn Avenue and Salem Avenue.
The biggest problems were on Highway 78 Monday, Hall said, where highway crews had tried to plow off the snow and did not get it down close enough. The snow had packed down and driving was not easy on 78 but travel on secondary roads was better early Monday, he said.
“We are trying to get stuff off the bridges and intersections,” Hall said Monday morning.
Workers were also clearing parking areas of snow at the voting precincts for the election Tuesday for Highway Commissioner of the Northern District.
Hall said a core staff had arrived to work Monday to take calls and complaints. He estimated Cornersville had received eight inches, and over the county, accumulation had varied from between five to eight inches. Some individuals, however, reported up to as much as 11 inches, Hall said. But that could have been due to drifts.
In Byhalia, public works director Gary Smoot reported four and a half inches of snow.
Other media reports around the South included three to four inches of snow in Memphis, Tenn., seven to 10 inches of snow in Oxford, seven inches of snow in Batesville, five inches of snow in Tunica and 10 and a half inches of snow in Ripley.
Meteorologists in nearby Memphis said the snow could linger for days due to cold daytime and nighttime temperatures.
Jerry Moore, deputy superintendent with the county school district, said Monday the district has built in two snow make-up days, one in April and one in May. These will be used easily by this snow and possibly more, he said. H.W. Byers has an issue of how to make up days since it already has missed a number of days when there was a gas leak in the school’s kitchen at the beginning of the school year, he said.
Holly Springs fire chief Kenny Holbrook said no serious accidents occurred due to the snow and there were no fires.
“The city did a good job getting the main roads passable,” he said. “We had some wreck calls Sunday but no serious ones. People called who needed help getting their vehicles unstuck.”
All schools were closed again Tuesday.
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