Well, we finally got what we have been waiting for — snow! And it’s wonderful to have a touch of winter in the wintertime. We were again, very fortunate to have the most minimal of storm related issues.
No ice build-up that would wipe out our electricity, just snow with an icy sheen! We couldn’t have asked for better timing on the storm, a Sunday when many folks aren’t at work followed by the Martin Luther King holiday, another time when folks could be home from work and schools were already closed.
The South, though, is notorious for a thaw-refreeze-thaw cycle; and we did experience this phenomenon. With a lot of side roads not plowed (scraped), many folks were stuck for another day. And, for any of us who are taller than 3.5 feet tall, a slip on the ice can be dangerous.
We are warned here of “black ice,” that wet looking spot that is really super slippery ice. It is not something that can be scraped or plowed, it just needs to melt.
Our own folks from Public Works Facilities, Solid Waste and Parks and Recreation were the real heroes in the storm; they were out scraping parking lots, salting sidewalks and stairs to the most important resources in the community: Gaston Emergency Medical Service, Gaston County Police, sheriff and jail facilities, Gaston County Administration Building, Social Services, Emergency Management, ACCESS (central transportation), Gaston County Family Health Services, Highland Health Department, Gaston County Health Department, Gaston County Libraries and County Convenience Sites.
This is a big thank you for being out in the cold and dark to make our county safe to move about in treacherous conditions.
We had been spoiled in the last couple of years with little to no snow/ice to deal with. And when the multiple meteorologists were all calling for a winter event, these county folks were getting ready, preparing vehicles to put into snow removal mode, retrieving slag from our NCDOT folks and prepping sites with adequate amounts of ice melt to keep the county moving.
There is potential to repeat this winter cycle a few more times this winter, and you can be assured that the capable staff in Gaston County will be there to do all they can to provide safe passage of county residents.
I would be remiss to not acknowledge our own DOT folks who pretreated the county roads…to see that brine on the roads was an assurance that they were also doing their best to keep our roads safe. Thank you for your many miles of brining. And finally, thank you to the many folks who heeded the call to stay off roads and refrain from any unnecessary travel until roads were passable.
No one wants to be in a collision or to run their vehicle into a ditch…so it is important for folks to listen to the news, get to the grocery/pharmacy/hardware store before there was an emergency.
It was really a pretty sight, though, with the white blanket of snow, kids out on sleds and many neighbors out with their dogs — all of us homebound in the snow
Nan Kirlin is recycling coordinator for Gaston County.
This article originally appeared on The Gaston Gazette: Thank those who helped Gaston County survive the snow