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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Officials work to clear roadways

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pete Foster
It took a combination of hard work and Mother Nature, but roadways throughout Clay County are clearing.

Following a weather system of ice and sleet, which came through the area late Friday evening, Clay County officials have been hard at work.

On Sunday, Clay County Highway Department Supervisor Pete Foster told The Brazil Times he had crews out early Saturday into the late morning. The crews came back Saturday and worked into Sunday morning.

"We've got a lot of salt down," Foster said. "It's melting good. All in all, the roads are not really all that bad. It's warmed up now to where it's beginning to thaw out."

Foster added crews were focusing on gravel roads in addition to areas of roads, which were shaded. He did say the most-traveled roadways in the county were in "good shape."

"There are still a few slick spots," Foster said, "but I think we're in pretty good shape. We're putting straight sand on the gravel and mainly working on roads that have slick spots. We're double checking everything."

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton said following the initial burst of the weather system, things cooled down as the weekend advanced.

"It warmed up a little bit and started to melt," Heaton said. "But the temperature dropped (Saturday evening) and it started getting slick again."

Officials with Clay County Dispatch told The Brazil Times there were some slide-offs Saturday evening as the temperature dropped, freezing residual ice and sleet on the roadways. However, officials said the amount was minimal.

The weather system pelted the Wabash Valley with ice and sleet, beginning at approximately 8 p.m., Friday.

As a result, several vehicles slid off the roadways.

Officials worked many accidents throughout the evening, but it appeared to slow down sometime around midnight heading into Saturday.

"Shortly after it hit, it was just slide-offs and accidents," Heaton said. "But by midnight, most everything had slowed way down."

Heaton said an accident on United States 40 late Friday evening forced traffic to be re-routed back into Brazil. In addition, a tanker truck coming down a hill on U.S. 40 was unable to stop due to stalled traffic and slid off the roadway.

Heaton said as a result of the road conditions, an ambulance was stuck. Officials with the Sheriff's Department eventually transported the accident victim and a crewmember from the ambulance to St. Vincent Clay Hospital.

In addition, officials had to close off a portion of State Road 59 for less than one hour Friday evening after so many vehicles were having trouble getting up and down a hill due to the road conditions.

"The main problem was when the freezing rain first hit, the hills and some of the curbs," Heaton said. "Wherever there was a hill, we were getting cars piled up, causing traffic problems."

Sheriff Mike Heaton
Heaton said the most severe accident took place on State Road 48 in the southern portion of the county. It involved four vehicles.

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great job

-- Posted by carebuttonbroke on Tue, Jan 24, 2012, at 10:26 PM

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