The Herald Bulletin

February 6, 2014

Drivers safer this time around

By Zach Osowski
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — Motorists decided to play it safe for the most part as another wave of snow hit Madison County Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Chris Beeman, a coordinator for the Madison County dispatch, said deputies received some calls Tuesday night for accidents and slide-offs. The totals, though, did not come close to the previous number of calls during snowstorms earlier this year.

"We're getting some calls but not as many as usual," Beeman said.

He attributed the lack of calls to Madison County residents learning from previous storms and just staying inside instead of trying to venture out.

"I think people are sick of dealing with the snow and are just staying at home," Beeman said.

Elwood Street Commissioner Jim Robertson echoed Beeman's statement. He said the total number of drivers he saw while out plowing was smaller than it has been. He said a little forewarning went a long way in getting people off the streets before the storm.

"There was a little more anticipation for this storm," Robertson said. "From what I've seen, people are driving really safe this time around."

Robertson said he let as many people know as he could that heavy snow was coming. He also let residents know the town is low on salt so clearing the streets could take a little longer than usual.

It's probably a good thing most people decided to stay inside. Beeman said the roads countywide are still snow covered, although the main streets were in decent shape by Wednesday evening. Out in the country, winds have been blowing snow back onto plowed roads erasing some of the crews' work. Beeman said most roads were still slick and dangerous on Wednesday afternoon and that people should use caution.

Robertson's crews were out plowing for about 20 hours straight for this storm. He said the hard work was starting to pay off Wednesday afternoon. Even though temperatures were a little warmer than during previous storms, Robertson said a small patch of ice under the snow made roads slippery.

"It's progressively getting better," Robertson said. "The main thoroughfares are starting to clear up."

Most of the roads in downtown Anderson were good by the time workers returned home on Wednesday. Susan Hart, whose husband, Charles, works at H and R Block, said he was able to get out of their driveway Wednesday morning.

"I was actually surprised he got out because we got a lot of snow," Hart said. "But our road is looking pretty good now."

She said Indiana Avenue tends to get plowed pretty well since it is next to Vinyard Street and Community Hospital.

"It seems like they did a pretty good job clearing," Hart said. "I think it being a little warmer helped them."

Others were not quite as happy with the plowing provided by the city of Anderson. Sandra Layton, who lives on Fairlawn Way in the Greenbriar neighborhood, said the people on their road have been getting a raw deal. The city has contracted the plowing of that subdivision out to contractors and Layton said the contractors are not doing their job.

"Two of them came by in pickup trucks and their blades must have been 5 inches off the ground," Layton said. "I could see daylight under the plows. They weren't moving anything."

Layton said this is the second time this has happened this winter and it leaves the elderly community stuck.

"I can't get out and move it," she said. "My husband has heart problems. We pay taxes for clean streets and these people aren't doing their job."

She said the big city trucks used to plow their roads and she wishes they would come back and do that again.

Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB, or call 640-4847.

Back to the cold A look at the forecast for the next few days Today: High of 10, low of minus 8. Extreme wind chill. Friday: High of 14, low of 3. Chance of late snow. Saturday: High of 19, low of 13. 40 percent chance of snow. From the National Weather Service.