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* News Release *
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
For Immediate Release

Ice Storm Update

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens reports that conditions have improved significantly on County roadways; however, motorists should continue to watch for downed trees, limbs, and icy patches. "Most roads are now clear and relatively dry but with temperatures falling again any wet spots could re-freeze," he said. "As high winds continue throughout the day motorists could still encounter some debris and branches in roadways, but hopefully the risk of entire trees falling over has decreased since the ice melted." BCEO crews worked through the overnight hours salting roads and clearing fallen trees.

Last night during the height of the ice storm trees and power lines were falling across and blocking roads, particularly in rural sections of northern and western Butler County. In some cases roads were completely blocked by downed trees, or limbs were hanging so low from the weight of the ice that salt trucks couldn't get through to treat the roads. To make matters worse, at times the freezing rain fell so hard it was washing the salt off of road surfaces leading them to ice over, according to BCEO road crew supervisor Wayne Sears.

The Engineer's Office had to call in additional crews to assist with clearing fallen trees off of numerous roads. "Even some of our salt truck drivers who couldn't get through blocked roads were pressed into chain saw duty," Sears said. Large trees were cut enough to allow the trucks to push them to the side of road with their plows. Crews will return to clean up debris today and throughout the remainder of the week.

High winds blew in after most of the freezing rain had come to an end raising fears of even more problems. But the wind ushered in warmer temperatures and within a few hours early this morning most of the heavy ice coating had melted. Sears noted that the wind actually prompted the drying of roadway surfaces. "That was unexpected and very fortunate," he noted. "For a few hours last night things were pretty bad, but we eventually caught a big break."

BCEO snow and ice control crews have been on duty since 8:00 Monday night, treating roads through the first wave of freezing rain and then through the second, a more powerful wave which moved in late yesterday afternoon. Wilkens says that his crews will spend the rest of today spot treating any slick spots and cleaning up. Motorists who encounter any fallen trees or hazardous debris on County roads should report it to the Engineer's Office. The numbers to call are 513-867-5744 or 513-424-9144.

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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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