Butler County Engineer
Greg Wilkens reports that roads on the County system are improving
this morning despite very cold temperatures and additional snow
showers overnight. "Roads are nearly clear in some spots
but slushy to snow-covered in others," he said. "The
snow has finally subsided and we are seeing some sunshine which
is helping; however, at this point we would still recommend that
motorists exercise extreme caution and stay off the roads if
it is not necessary to go out."
BCEO road crews have
reported considerable blowing and drifting snow in the northern
and western townships thanks to strong winds and the dry, fluffy
nature of this snow. Front end loaders will be required to remove
drifts on North Law Road, Garner Road, Springfield Road, Chapel
Road, and State Line Center Road, Wilkens said. "Some of
the drifts are too deep for our plows to push through. Using
a front end loader is a more efficient way to tackle some of
those problem areas."
Salt supplies are holding
up with about 1,000 tons still on hand at the Engineer's Office.
But crews continue to spread more lightly as salt is harder to
come by this year due to a nationwide salt shortage. "Plowing
has been the primary means for clearing the roads anyway, due
to the huge amounts of snow," Wilkens noted. "But once
we get most of the snow off the road we are putting down a layer
of salt to assist with melting."
The surprise snow storm
dumped up to eight inches in a narrow band across the heart of
Butler County from northwest to southeast. Strong winds and near
whiteout conditions made it difficult for plow drivers to clear
the roads during the height of the storm yesterday afternoon.
Radar images showed the storm barely moving as it appeared to
hang over Butler and Hamilton Counties at the worst time -- afternoon
rush hour. Snowfall rates up to two inches per hour snarled traffic
making it difficult for plows to clear the roads. "Some
of our trucks were at a standstill, caught in the same traffic
jams as everyone else," said BCEO Operations Deputy Scott
Bressler. "It was quite simply a very bad storm that hit
at the worst possible time."
While traffic was gridlocked
in the populous southeastern townships, plow drivers didn't have
it much easier in the rural townships either. "Drifting,
icing, and vehicles sliding off of roadways made it difficult
to maneuver the plows," Bressler said. "But our drivers
are dedicated, they enjoy what they do, and they have worked
hard to ensure the roads are clear and passable." All 15
of the BCEO's trucks were pressed into service late yesterday
morning. Crews worked through the overnight hours and will likely
remain on the roads throughout the day. "We'll have to wait
and see what tonight brings. With temperatures predicted to fall
to near zero, there may be some re-freezing of road surfaces
so we may have to keep our crews on duty," Bressler said.
The BCEO Snowfighters
have had their hands full since a major storm brought up to a
foot of snow and ice to the area last week, another round of
light snow Friday night, and then yesterday's dumping. One crew
member was touched when a resident on Hamilton New London Road
brought him a turkey sandwich and hot chocolate in recognition
of his long, hard hours of service. Crews have worked nearly
non-stop for over a week. "Fortunately a stretch of warmer
weather is forecast which will allow everyone a break and give
us a chance to replenish our salt supplies," Wilkens said.
That should be good news for motorists too.
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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