County crews work on snow-related issues

Jan. 25—Work crews with Pittsburg County commissioners worked roads Tuesday night, then were out again early Wednesday trying to keep county roads clear of snow pileups and other hazardous conditions.

Meteorologist Karen Hatfield with the National Weather Service said Wednesday four-to-six inches of snow fell across parts of Pittsburg County, with seven inches recoded near Haywood.

In Latimer County, 8 inches of snow was measured in Damon, south of Wilburton, she said.

District 3 Commissioner Ross Selman said he and his road crews worked into the night Tuesday then were out again after midnight.

"I got home about 11 p.m.," Selman said, referring to Tuesday night. "We had salted the hills and bridges and it was still coming down. I got up around 1 a.m. and I called my blade crews back."

Selman said in some areas snow on the roads in parts of District 3 measured four or five inches deep. Some snow melted with the low temperature hovering round the freezing mark, but the snow kept falling faster than it melted. "There would have been more if it hadn't melted," Selman said of the snow accumulation on county roads.

Salt supplies to treat the roads were holding up in District 3.

"I mixed in some chips and we salted the roads with it," Selman said. "I'm glad there wasn't a hard freeze. It could have been worse."

With a low of 22 forecast overnight Wednesday into Thursday, Selman said he hoped roads dried enough Wednesday to avoid ice issues once the freezing temperatures hit.

District 2 Commissioner Kevin Smith said he and his road crews worked into Tuesday night, then he got up around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday to check the roads again.

"It's mushy and sloppy more than anything," Smith said of the District 2 roads. Several inches of snow on county roads caused problems in some areas."We've moved some snow around," Smith said.

Other issues were caused by trees with snow-packed limbs near roadways leaning over and hindering motorists.

"A lot of them will overhang the road," Smith said of snow-packed trees. "They bow so bad and then bow out and bend down." County crews cut off snow-packed limbs and in some places and cut down some trees that were overhanging roads at dangerous levels.

Some areas were impacted more than others. "Jackfork and farther south got a lot more snow," Smith said. Areas including Ashland and Staples Road in the high country south of Pittsburg also had more snow, Smith said.

"I had lots of spots that had more than others," he said.

County Commission Chairman/District 1 Commissioner Charlie Rogers said his crews started working on the roads Tuesday evening. "We had four blades crews out last night," Rogers said Wednesday. Salt crews were also out Tuesday evening.

"We bladed all of the hills," Rogers said, with crews also salting bridges. Still, the snow continued to fall and buildups in some areas caused problems. Snow buildups caused some cars to high-center on the snow, he said.

Commissioners continued to send crews where needed. They also hoped the roads would dry enough Wednesday to avoid major issues during the forecast hard freeze overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning.