County preparing for accumulating snow

Published 5:05 pm Thursday, February 11, 2010

With a forecast of 3 to 5 inches of snow for Marengo County Thursday night into Friday morning, Marengo County emergency personnel will focus on keeping the roads clear and the power on.

“We’ve got rock trucks, and we’ll sprinkle some rock on the bridges if they freeze,” said Marengo County engineer Ken Atkins. “We’ll scatter our equipment, in case we get into an ice storm situation. Our people are ready, and when it starts snowing, I’ll go out riding, and if and when the bridges start freezing, I’ll call them and get the men out as needed.

“If you don’t have to get out, don’t get out. They’re talking about 3 to 5 inches for us, so it could get dangerous, and there’s a possibility of another inch on Sunday.”

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Marengo County does not have any salt trucks, due to the fact that harsh winter weather is a rarity in this area.

“The last time we had a freeze, with several bridges freezing over was 14 years ago,” Atkins said.

Marengo County Emergency Management Agency director Kevin McKinney expects only a few minor power outages throughout the county.

“The roads are going to be the biggest issue, and there are going to be some scattered power outages for people to deal with,” he said. “We don’t expect any widespread power outages, and we don’t expect any long-term power outages.

“What the National Weather Service told us in our briefings today (Thursday) is that it should melt when it hits the roads. However, in that 7:00 to 10:00 window in the morning, the snow may be heavy enough to where it is snowing faster than it can melt, which is going to present a problem when you can’t see the road. We’re not expecting any serious accumulation until after 7 a.m. Friday.

“I don’t encourage anybody to be out at all — only the emergency responders need to be out and the power companies. ”

Marengo County EMA will stay aware of the situation as it develops, but McKinney does not expect the agency to do very much.

“As far as the Emergency Management Agency, we’re not going to do a whole lot because this is a short-term event,” he said. “It’s a 24-hour event, so it’s not going to require a lot of attention.”