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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Officials report calm Thursday

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband
All is apparently quiet on the frozen tundra known as Clay County, and officials hope it stays that way.

"It's been really quiet today," Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband said Thursday. "The sun is out, the ice is melting off the trees and hopefully there won't be anymore power outages because of ice. But anything can happen."

Husband confirmed a few local residents had called his office looking for assistance due to power outages, but their power was restored shortly afterward.

"No one has needed to use the warming shelter and I haven't had a call since 10 a.m.," Husband said. "I think the county, and its residents, have handled this weather event really well."

According to Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton, deputies have responded to only one minor accident, with no injuries reported, in the past 24 hours.

"We're still responding to calls, but nothing major," Heaton said. "The county roads are still ice covered, and the water from the melting ice can potentially make the roads slicker than they appear to be. Motorists need to slow down, it's still bad out there."

With meteorologists predicting falling temperatures and below-zero wind chills, Thursday's good fortune could turn roadways into an icy nightmare for motorists Friday morning.

"The Clay County Highway Department is out there putting sand down now, but the temperatures are going to have to come up above freezing so they can get some salt on the roads to get the ice off," Husband said. Thursday. "The county roads are treacherous right now and it will probably get worse by tomorrow."

Clay County Highway Department Superintendent Pete Foster has spent 26 winters fighting Mother Nature's wrath.

Clay County Highway Department Superintendent Pete Foster
"We've had ice before," Foster told The Brazil Times Thursday. "But it's been nothing like this."

County workers spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday clearing away ice-covered tree limbs that knocked out power to Clay County residents.

"People have really been understanding and patient," Foster said. "They stayed home, which really helped us and them."

Foster said highway department trucks have been hitting the most dangerous places with a salt and sand mixture, but expected to hit the roads with all seven trucks to tackle the 650-700 miles of county roads Friday morning.

"We are going to make a maximum effort on Friday, and possibly into the weekend, to make sure the roads are safe to travel," Foster said. "We have plenty of salt and sand, and there are two more loads on the way next week."

Local residents are urged to stay home, but, if they have to drive, officials recommend motorists try to avoid nighttime driving, use caution and common sense.

"Just because the legal speed limit might be 45 mph, doesn't mean you want to drive 45 mph on the snow and ice. Reduce your speed," Husband said. "The objective is to get to where you are going safely."

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