Although there were some accidents due to the wacky winter weather during the holidays, local emergency response personnel were happy there was nothing serious reported in Clay County.
"We were extremely lucky," 911 dispatcher Cindy Judd told The Brazil Times Friday. "The ice was everywhere. There were a large number of slide-offs and traffic accidents involving property damage reported (Tuesday evening into Wednesday), but not many involving personal injury. Our biggest difficulty was getting emergency units to the scene so they could help."
Fighting freezing rain, motorists in cars, pick-up trucks, 4-wheel drive vehicles and semi tractor trailers were slipping and sliding on ice-covered county and state roads right alongside some of the emergency vehicles sent to help.
"I think (motorists) respected the ice this time around, which was a good thing. We're like everyone else when the roads are covered in ice. Those salt trucks slide around too," Clay County Highway Garage Supervisor Pete Foster said. "No one was hurt and there was no damage done, but we had two trucks slide off due to the weather conditions."
With more than 700 miles of county roads, Foster said he believes the highway department has enough road salt, a precious commodity for many Indiana counties, for the department's five salt/sand trucks to get through the upcoming winter weather.
"So far we're doing okay. And if we do run out, we've got a few alternatives set up to get more," he said. "I think it has been a really unusual winter. I haven't seen this much ice hit the area for several years, and especially not back-to-back like we've had recently."
Although no accidents were apparently reported in Brazil, dispatchers at the Brazil City Police Department were busy Christmas Day answering questions about when the water would be turned back on.
Shortly after 2 a.m., Thursday, a four-inch water main broke near the intersection of Union Street and State Road 340. The water was shut off around 6 a.m. and affected customers in Brazil, Carbon, Center Point, Harmony and Knightsville. While the close proximity to other utility lines slowed the repairs, full service was returned around 6:30 p.m.
All customers of the Brazil Water Utility remain under the boil order until further notice.