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County, state prepare for winter storms

POSTED December 1, 2010 2:41 p.m.


It is that time of year, when everyone is making sure they are ready for the first blast of serious winter weather.
We’ve had a couple of days when early risers had to scrape their windows, but that’s nothing.
And as anyone who’s lived here more than a year or two should realize, winter can go either way around here.
We could see conditions warm back into the 60s and stay that way for almost the whole winter.
Or we could get blasted with sub-zero weather that socks in until next spring.
The only thing that is smart to do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
That is what county and state officials are doing, according to recent reports.
Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips reported that his department has been getting everything ready, in case Barton County gets hit with wet and icy winter weather.
He noted his department recently “completed winter weather preparedness training and equipment readiness.”
But it’s also important to have materials on hand, and his staff has also been working to prepare the salt and sand mix that will be needed to treat slick roads, when winter storms do strike, Phillips reported.
Having enough sand on hand also means pumping sand at the county pit, he added.
The Associated Press reported that state highway crews are also busy getting ready and are in better shape than they were a year ago.
“Kansas transportation officials say the state is better prepared to deal with harsh winter weather than it was a year ago, but road crews still could be stretched thin in some areas.
It was noted “that an increased demand for salt, a shortage of staff and high diesel prices caused the state to do the bare minimum in cleaning icy and snowy roads last year.”
The AP reported noted that, considering state budget realities, “transportation crews are as ready as they can be for winter,” and that “this season, storage bins are full of salt and sand and the trucks have been prepared for duty.”

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