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To the Editor:
Grit is defined as courage, resolve, and strength of character. Without a doubt, our snowplow drivers and emergency services personnel had true Carroll County grit on display during Winter Storm Landon. The relentless winter weather we experienced last week began with a deluge of rain during the day Wednesday before temperatures fell below freezing overnight. Thursday, we saw nonstop freezing rain and sleeting throughout the day. In the early morning hours of Friday morning, the ice had been covered up with a fresh, thick layer of snow.
Many of you got to experience the blizzard of 78 firsthand, while others of us have only heard lots of stories. That blizzard is the storm that we compare all other winter storms to. The aftermath of that blizzard was devastating, and we may never see another storm like that. Frankly, from the stories I’ve heard, I am okay with that. Nonetheless, Winter Storm Landon had an economic impact that I have never seen before. Like in many other counties, Landon not only shut down our school systems but also temporarily closed the doors of restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, factories, and local government operations sending our citizens home without pay.
Even though Mother Nature gave us her best, the men and women of our road crews and emergency services braved the cold and icy conditions without hesitation to dig us out. The road crews fought the storm nonstop for hours busting ice, plowing snow, and salting the roads. The Carroll County Engineer’s Office tallied over 591 manhours behind the wheel of a plow truck clearing all 307 miles of county roadways multiple times, as they worked 16 hour shifts during the 2-day storm. The drivers spread 1,571 tons of Snow and Ice Control Mix on the roadways. Carroll County has 11 snowplow routes that are all approximately 30 miles in length, and it takes about 4 hours to make a full lap on one route.
Because of the grit, dedication, and efficiency showed by the road crews from not only the County Engineer’s Office, but also the Ohio Department of Transportation, 14 Townships, and 7 municipalities made it one of the safest winter storms. The Carroll County Sheriff reported only 2 injury accidents during the storm. The Sheriff’s Office handled 37 calls for service while Carrollton Police Department answered 17 calls. Area fire departments had 11 tone outs, while 12 ambulances were needed.
We can’t forget our private contractors that were able to get our businesses dug out and opened back up and our employees back to work. Most businesses were able to open back up at some point on Saturday.
Last, but not least, I must thank you! Most of you chose to stay home and off the roads which allowed for the crews to do their work in a safe and timely manner.
It’s not typical for a sitting commissioner to write a letter to the editor, but unprecedented events require unprecedented displays of gratitude. I hope you join me in thanking all of our road crews and emergency services for keeping us safe during these winter storms so we can continue on with our daily lives.
Carroll County Commissioner