Winter storm left schools closed and county roads slippery

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By Charlotte Underwood

Slick roads and closed schools were the result of a brief winter storm in Campbell County last week.  Despite the efforts of county road workers, many secondary roads and even main roads were left nearly impassable when the flakes had settled.

The snow fell quick and it fell countywide, which created a problem for road workers, according to Campbell County Road Superintendent Dennis Potter.

“The road conditions were terrible; my guys said it was the slickest they had ever seen it,” Potter said.

Though the amount of snowfall wasn’t exactly substantial, the ground was so cold from more than a week of below freezing temperatures, none of the snow melted.  

“We would get roads graveled and then it would just snow more, covering everything that we had down,” Potter said.  He said the county came close to exhausting its supply of gravel last week, but that they were “running the quarry pretty hard,” to get gravel built up for the next snow.

Gravel isn’t the only thing to be nearly used up as a result of the snow, according to Potter. Road workers garnered around 25 hours of overtime during the winter storm, which has used up most of the road departments overtime funding.

“We’ve used up nearly all of our overtime funding too; it’s just about gone,” Potter said.  

Road workers worked overtime throughout the storm trying to clear routes and help those who had already became a victim of slick roads.

“We serviced and helped as many people as we could,” Potter said. He said his employees were good about trying to help people who were stranded in ditches and stuck on the side of the roads.

“It’s been frustrating for me because I really want to do a good job and keep the people serviced, but with the storm affecting roads countywide, we were spread thin,” Potter said.

Road workers were also out spreading gravel on Tuesday evening and Tuesday night, especially in the mountain areas where the snowfall was thicker.

“We’re just doing the best we can with what we have,” Potter said, explaining that Campbell County just didn’t have the snow removal equipment that northern areas had.

Potter said he plans to continue to monitor the weather.

“I believe it’s going to cooperate this week and allow the guys to get home and get rested up, so they can hit it again next time,” Potter said.