Thursday, January 27, 2011
Oh snow, not again!
By SUE WATSON
Although the area saw only an inch or so of snow Thursday night, roads were slick and driving treacherous, according to county administrator Larry Hall.
He said driving was more hazardous, especially on four-lanes, than the January 9 snow that blanketed much of the county with the biggest accumulation in years - up to 10 or 11 inches in some places.
“From about Potts Camp on north it was not so bad, even on Highway 78, until near Holly Springs,” Hall said. “From there north it was some really treacherous stuff - Cayce Road, Mt. Pleasant, Highway 302, Highway 72, Highway 78.
“It was raining, then all the snow fell - a whole lot of snow - then the temperatures dropped. Driving conditions were worse than in the first snow.”
County road and bridge crews worked until about 11 p.m. Thursday putting out salt mix. The mix and sunshine Friday cut the ice off highways and county roads and most roads were easily passible by noon.
Hall said the county has put out more mix during these last snows than in the last 15 years altogether.
Drivers caught on the highways during the snowfall slipped and slid and wreckers were busy pulling big trucks off the medians, Hall said.
There were not many wrecks on county roads and no serious wrecks were reported in the county, according to Hugh Hollowell, emergency management coordinator.
Hall said the wrecks tended to accumulate west of Lake Center to the DeSoto County line on Highway 78. People westbound were taken by surprise and ran into the snow really fast, he said.
Some truckers eastbound on Highway 72 used good judgement and pulled over to wait it out, Hall said.
County roads are taking a hard hit due to the freezes, as they did last winter. Other state highways, like Highway 349 in the southern portion of the county, have also sustained a lot of freeze damage.
Hollowell said the roads were more slick for drivers than in the prior snow and minor accidents were plentiful, especially folks sliding off the roads and the four-lanes.
“The four-lanes - 72, 78, and Goodman Road - were extremely slick after dark with lots of accidents,” he said. “Once the department of transportation got salt out, it seemed to help.”
He agreed with Hall that driving was more hazardous than in the prior big snow.
“There was lots of drizzle and streets were wet when the temperatures dropped,” he said. “There was definitely more ice on the road than before. At any rate, we made it without any major issues. Most folks drive sensibly. I had some issues, myself, on curves.”
Hollowell praised the quick response of road and bridge crews and law enforcement in getting ready for the events. He has close contact with the emergency management network and conferences sometimes with the National Weather Service when weather systems are anticipated.
“I pass it on to Larry Hall and to David Cook and they get ready for the event,” he said.
A forecasted snow for Sunday night did not materialize but another forecast was called for Tuesday night this week which would be the third one of the new year.
Holly Springs Fire Chief Ken Holbrook said there were a lot of minor accidents but no major problems due to the snow. A chimney fire in the Red Banks area on Moore Road spread to an attic Sunday, but firefighters put it out and limited the damage to the structure, he said.
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