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Friday, Tuesday storms dump snow on county

By Phyllis McLaughlin

The Trimble Banner


Winter delivered a double-whammy to Trimble County, with a 2- to 3-inch snowfall Friday night followed by another 8 inches Tuesday, closing all schools and some businesses throughout the region Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

County Clerk Jerry Powell closed his office before noon Tuesday. His staff made it in, but he said they had had no customers most of the morning. He said other offices in the county courthouse also were closing early Tuesday.

Eddy Callis, supervisor at the state’s highway maintenance barn in Bedford, said his crews sprayed brine Monday in anticipation of the storm. 

“We’ve been salting and plowing since midnight, right after the [overnight] crew came in,” he said Tuesday morning, adding that five dump-truck plows and a grader were out on the road until 7:30 a.m. After that, six plows and a grader were working the main highways.

He estimated that crews had spread at least 150 tons of salt and 1,500 gallons of calcium chloride (an agent that helps the salt work better) in the first 12 hours of the storm. 

“We try to hit the main routes first and keep them open, and then try to catch a side road when they can,” Callis said. But it’s an uphill battle. “By the time we plow and salt [a route], it’s snowing so hard, it’s white again.”

Callis estimated that the county had anywhere from 3-5 inches through the morning, and said another inch was expected to fall through Tuesday afternoon. Another half-inch to an inch was expected overnight, along with strong, sometimes gusting, wind.

“I’m dreading that; we’re going to be fighting drifts, too,” Callis said, adding that his crews will be working around the clock in 16-hour shifts trying to keep the roads passable.

“We’ll be at this for the next couple of days.”