New year snow storm covers county

Linda Moody Features Editor

January 2, 2014

DARKE COUNTY - Thursday's snow storm wreaked havoc on travelers, not only with the accumulation of the white stuff but also with some accompanying winds.
As of 11:40 a.m. Thursday, it is believed that at least four inches of snow had fallen all over the county, according to a spokesperson at the wastewater treatment plant in Greenville.
“I measured five inches,” said Shane Coby, superintendent of the Darke County Garage who noted his crews were still out plowing snow around noon time. “It's a little busy out here. We started at 4:39 a.m.”
Coby said all of the roads his department covers - east-west and north-south - are all about the same.
“The snow was pretty thin and the winds started blowing,” he said before noon Thursday. “We have encountered slide-offs all over the county. The roads are pretty slick right now.”
He admitted his department had a couple of truck issues, but nothing out of the normal.
“Normally, our December snow is what January is,” he said. “We have plenty of salt.”
The county crews were planning to stay out for the rest of the day, stay on he roads and keep them maintained.
“All county-maintained roads are passable,” said Coby, who indicated that their department had 20 trucks out trying to make cleanup possible.
“It's not too bad,” remarked Ryan Delk when a call was made to Greenville City Garage. “We came in at 3 a.m. and put salt down. At this point, we're having no problems, but blowing may cause an issue.”
He said his department had 11 trucks out on the streets.
“We're plowing everything back,” Delk said. “We'll be doing this for the rest of the day into the evening. We're hoping we can finish later this evening. Tomorrow, it's supposed to be super cold.”
Chris Mestemaker reported Thursday morning that 17 trucks from the State Highway Garage have been out since midnight.
“There are no problems, but we're anticipating lots of wind, and then we'll have problems,” he said. “The roads are snow-covered and we're scraping snow. We'll treat them when the snow lets up.”
Plans for the state garage were to keep trucks on working until the roads are clean.
Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) crews, according to Public Information officer Mandi Dillon, were working around the clock plowing and salting interstates, U.S. and state routes throughout District 7.
“We currently have 136 plows out working, please give them room to clear the way,” she said in a press release early Thursday afternoon. “Snow plows move much slower to ensure the roads are safe and passable.”
She advised, with a steady snowfall and several inches expected, road conditions could be slick.
“Use extra caution on bridges and ramps. They freeze first,” she said.
ODOT crews will remain on duty in Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery and Shelby counties until the snowfall is over and the roads are clear. Snow plow numbers may be adjusted through the day as weather conditions warrant.