Butler County's heaviest
March snowfall in history is but a fresh memory as warmer temperatures
quickly melt what's left of last Friday and Saturday's onslaught.
Roads are now in good to excellent condition with no major problems
being reported. Motorists may still encounter a few slushy spots
on lesser traveled roads, so caution is advised in these areas.
BCEO road crews are
finally getting a rest, but worked around the clock for nearly
60 hours keeping the County road system plowed and salted. Crews
were dispatched around 6:00 a.m. Friday morning and didn't quit
until Sunday afternoon, although the snow had subsided by Saturday
Plowing became the
primary mode of attack as the storm intensified on Friday. But
as the snow temporarily slacked off by late afternoon, salting
would become more effective. When the second strong wave came
through and near blizzard conditions produced blowing and drifting
snow, plowing once again was the best method for clearing the
"We are frequently
asked how much salt was used during a snow event," said
Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens. "The truth is, maybe
not as much as would be expected during this type of storm. Anytime
the snow is deep, plowing is usually the best method for clearing
the roads first. Otherwise, you're wasting material by dropping
it on top of a foot of snow because it won't be immediately effective
and it's going to get plowed right off. So the salt is applied
once the deepest snow has been removed."
Front-end loaders were
also used to remove huge snow piles at intersections in an effort
to maintain sight distance for motorists.
For the record, the
Engineer's Office dropped 1,351 tons of salt during this storm;
1,550 gallons of calcium chloride were used; labor hours totaled
1,262; and, the total cost amounted to $166,431.
A Level 3 Snow Emergency
was declared for Butler County during the height of the storm.
This was done for two reasons, according to BCEO Operations Deputy
Scott Bressler. "First and foremost it is for the safety
of our citizens -- to alert the public of dangerous driving conditions
that would be uncharacteristic for this area. The other benefit,
and I think we saw a good example of it this past weekend, is
that with so few vehicles out, road crews are able to treat the
roads much more quickly and effectively."
BCEO road crews did
encounter a lot of snow piles pushed into the road by people
clearing their driveways. Remember, it is illegal to push snow
into the road. Doing so constitutes obstruction of the roadway
and can be dangerous to motorists.
The BCEO offers this
tip for clearing your drive and for diminishing the impact of
your driveway being blocked by snow pushed aside by a plow --
When clearing your driveway, try to pile the snow to the left
side as you face your house, specifically when clearing near
the road. This keeps the additional snow from occurring as a
dangerous pile in the roadway and will also prevent the plow
blade from dragging the pile across the front of your driveway.
Breaking Late Winter Storm
The late winter storm
that pushed through produced a record snowfall for the month
of March and prompted the issuance of a blizzard warning by the
National Weather Service -- a rare occurrence in southwest Ohio.
Though the storm did produce some blowing and drifting with near
blizzard conditions at times, true blizzard conditions never
really materialized in Butler County.
BCEO crews reported
significant drifting in open areas throughout the more rural
western and northern townships. About a foot of snow fell on
Butler County, although there were isolated reports of ten inches
in some spots with nearly 15 or more inches in others.
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For more information
Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S.,
Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 Fax 513.867.5849