Weather makes roads slick and cancels classes-again

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By Charlotte Underwood

An overnight winter storm left roads slick and some homes without power once again on Monday.

The snow continued to fall intermittently throughout the day as road workers plowed and graveled roads.

“We’re working like beavers trying to get everybody taken care of,” said Campbell County Road Superintendent Dennis Potter.

He said that while the road crews were graveling what they could, the primary focus was to get the roads plowed before Monday night.

“Everybody that’s got something that can push snow is out there pushing it right now,” Potter said.

“We’re mainly concentrating on getting the snow off the roads so it doesn’t freeze back tonight,” Potter affirmed.

He said that while many of the primary roads were clear, secondary roads still remained slick as of Monday afternoon. Potter said he planned for secondary roads to be clear by Tuesday evening.

This most recent storm arrived on the heels of several other significant snowfalls in the area, resulting in the road department working extra hours once again. Potter indicated that he was getting a little tired of the snow at this point.

“I just plain don’t like it to be honest,” he said with a small laugh.

Once again, when the snow fell countywide, the result was a mass amount of roadways to be plowed.

Potter reported little trouble, other than the large amount of snow that had to be cleared.

The only real problem was when a truck got stuck and had to be pulled out with a backhoe. Though there was no major accidents Potter was aware of, he said his crews did provide assistance to any who needed it during the bad weather.

“We did assist with two burials and were able to get two families to the grave site,” Potter said.

With all the snow that has fallen across the South recently, the road crews have clocked in the overtime hours, which ran out with the storm before last. Now, with an already stretched budget, Potter said he hopes for some help from the county commission.

“I haven’t asked the county commission for any additional assistance, but if this keeps up I may have to,” Potter said seriously.

“I always try to stretch a dollar into two, but this amount of snow and overtime could not be budgeted for,” Potter said.

He said if the commission could not provide assistance then the road department would be forced to lay less asphalt this summer in order to make up the cost.

“That would be bad, because we have more potholes this year than I’ve ever seen,” Potter said. He indicated it was a result of the rainy weather coupled with snow and freezing temperatures, which had damaged the roads.

“We need to address those real fast, as soon as it warms up; it’s just been a tough year,” Potter said.

While the county road workers had their hands full with the snow, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been for the utility, according to LaFollette Utility General Manager Kenny Baird.

Baird said that the just like the last storm, this one did not cause an excessive amount of power outages.

“We didn’t really have any more than in a normal weekend,” Baird said.

Of the minor outages that were reported in Doak’s Creek and Stinking Creek, Baird indicated that wind was the main cause of damage.

While the snow did start out wet, the temperature dropped, resulting in a drier, lighter snow.

“We were very fortunate once again that it was not a heavy snow, which would have weighed the evergreens down,” Baird said.