Below are some Barton County Road and Bridge Department statistics from the weekend ice storm, from Friday morning through Monday night;
• Crews applied 803 tons of salt/sand mixture.
• Cost of material only was $30,835.20.
• 470 man hours were incurred treating roads.
• Total cost to the County of the ice storm through Monday night was $54,630.47.
Sure, this weekend’s ice story was messy, treacherous and expensive, but it could have been much worse, Barton County Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips told the County Commission Tuesday morning.
“We were very fortunate,” he said.
“We were very dependent on the weather forecasters,” he said, adding his department watched as the storm developed. “It occurred very slowly this trip around.”
His crews were out pre-treating roads, bridges and intersections with sand and salt Friday and again Saturday in anticipation of the ice. “It did start Saturday afternoon,” he said.
However, prior to the storm, weather and safety agencies issued multiple warnings advising area residents to stay off the roads and stay home, and most people listened. “This was the first time this happened,” Phillips said.
“That helps us do our jobs,” he said. The roads were dangerous and the situation was stressful enough for those having to work out in the weather without having motorists around.
In all, he said his department went though 800 tons of sand and salt. This cost the county $50,000 for labor and materials.
“It was quite expensive,” he said. But, had it snowed, the cost would have tripled.
There are still several trees and limbs down on road right of ways that have to be removed. This will add to the cost.
As for the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Brian Bellendir was also glad to see drivers staying home. His deputies had calls of cars sliding off roadways, but there were no injury accidents.
Most of the BCSO calls were related to residents who lost electricity.