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* News Release *
 
Wednesday, February 14, 2007 -- 11:00 a.m.
For Immediate Release

WINTER STORM ROAD UPDATE

Butler County roads crews continue to work around the clock to keep up with the second major winter storm to hit the area in a week. Additional overnight snow and rapidly falling temperatures have made driving conditions treacherous in many parts of the County this morning. Though the storm has finally moved out of the area, a level 2 snow emergency remains in effect, according to Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens. Travel is not recommended unless absolutely necessary. If you must drive, please use extreme caution and allow extra time to arrive at your destination.

"We would also ask that motorists yield to snow plows and salt trucks, giving them plenty of room to do their job," Wilkens advised. Conditions on the Butler County road system are variable with some roads in better shape than others. "Yesterday's snow and ice accumulations combined with another round of snow last night and high winds have presented us with quite a challenge," he said. "Drifting has been a problem in the northern and western townships, especially across the east-west roads. Clearing drifts takes extra time. And certain areas that are prone to drifting often drift back over after our crews have moved on to other roads."

BCEO snow and ice control crews have reported drifting on numerous roads, including Stillwell Beckett Road, Brookville Road, Contreras Road, Somerville Road, Peoria Reily Road, Springfield Road, and Okeana Drewersburg Road. Motorists attempting to travel these or any other roads in the northern and western portions of Butler County should watch for drifts ahead and not attempt to drive through them. A few roads in Oxford Township were said to be impassable, including Doty Road and Jones Road. There are also reports of many stuck and abandoned vehicles on rural roadways which hinders snow plow operations even more.

Low hanging tree limbs heavy with ice could be hazardous and as winds increase to a predicted 35-40 mph today, the incidents of broken limbs and downed power lines could become a significant issue for motorists. There have already been numerous reports of widespread power outages throughout the region, particularly in those areas that saw more freezing rain.

Road Crews Continue to Work

As the winter storm bore down on Butler County, BCEO snow and ice control crews were pressed into service around 10:00 p.m. Monday night. They have worked continuously since, plowing and salting the roads as conditions dictate. Yesterday's extended period of freezing rain and sleet, especially across the southern half of the County, meant a lot of salt was utilized after the initial blast of snow was plowed away.

The Engineer's Office utilizes 13 snow and ice control routes to ensure that all 269 miles of County roadway are treated quickly and efficiently. BCEO snowfighters are comprised of two teams that work 12-hour shifts each. Wilkens said it appears that weather conditions may require crews to be in operation all day and probably into the overnight hours. Temperatures in the teens and single digits have caused wet and slushy road surfaces to freeze. Moreover, the additional snow that has fallen on top of the ice, plus blowing and drifting, has generated more problems.

Contending With a Variety of Conditions

BCEO crews have had to contend with a variety of winter weather conditions throughout the duration of this storm. Butler County was clearly on the snow-ice line along the southern fringe of the massive winter storm that produced blizzard conditions through central Indiana and Ohio. Considerably more snow has fallen across the northern half of Butler County while the southern portions have seen more freezing rain, sleet, and ice.

About 2-4 inches of snow fell in the southern areas before significant ice accumulations began to build up yesterday afternoon. Another couple of inches then fell overnight. The northern half has received a total of 6-7 inches of snow plus drifting, and though some icing did occur, it was not as substantial as what areas to the south have seen.

"Our crews have had to deal with a little of everything this time around," Wilkens said. "We commend their efforts and would like for the public to know how hard these guys work to make our roads safe and passable in the winter time."

# # #

For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849


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