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* News Release *
 
Monday, March 10, 2008
For Immediate Release

WINTER STORM SUMMARY

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 evening.

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 roads.

"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."

When Clearing Your Driveway

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.

A Record 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.

# # #

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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