• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Cities, county, store clerks deal with first winter snow

Brandon Nichols wasn't scheduled to work at Save-A-Lot last Thursday, Jan. 5, but when another cashier called in, he hopped in his car and headed to work. He didn't make it. "I have a rear-wheel drive Mercedes, and that's a mistake. . I live in Stonegate, almost got stuck there, and then made it out to the main road, and I thought I would take Montgomery (Avenue), because it would be the clearest route, and it was not. So (the Mercedes) slid about half the way up the hill, and kind of slid itself into a curb, and so I just left it there," Nichols said. The incident happened around 10:40 a.m., Nichols said - less than two hours after the first snowflake fell in Versailles. A manager with a four-wheel drive Chevrolet Silverado slid on the way to pick him up, Nichols said. Versailles Nichols wasn't the only Woodford County resident who had a bit of trouble with the winter's first snowstorm, though road crews were out early and often. Versailles Public Works Director Bart Miller said six city trucks spread a total of about 40 tons of salt to deal with the two-and-a-half inches of snow that fell Thursday and Friday. Though public safety officials often suggest staying off the roads unless necessary, Miller said traffic actually helps clear the roads sooner. "It makes the salt work better," Miller said, noting that the sub-freezing freezing temperatures before, during and after the snowfall complicated the work of his crews. "The salt's not nearly as effective once it's below 20 degrees," Miller said. Midway Midway Mayor Grayson Vandegrift said Wright Farm Services, the Richmond-based company with a contract with the city, did a "fantastic job" clearing the streets of Midway. ". It did come down faster than expected and it came down earlier than expected, but really, again, compared to some of these snowfalls we've had the last few years, this one kind of seemed like the junior varsity could have handled it," Vandegrift said. "The roads really were pretty much clear within a few hours." Vandegrift said Wright Farm Services workers were on the roads before the snow began Thursday, adding beet juice to city salt. "It makes it more effective, but also keeps it from sticking to cars and corroding cars, too," Vandegrift said. Woodford County County Road Engineer Buan Smith said the first of his eight trucks hit the north end of the county about 8 a.m., where snow began to fall a bit earlier than in Versailles. "Up along the Franklin County line, around Millville, in that area . there was already snow accumulating on the roads," Smith said. Over the two days, county road crews used about 150 tons of salt, Smith said. "Nuisance snows, like this, where it comes down, we get it off the road, then it comes down again, just takes a little bit more (salt)," Smith said. "We got everything cleared off by about 7 o'clock Thursday night, and since the roads were nice and wet and we had plenty of salt on them . we all went home and came back in about 5 o'clock in the morning." Smith said the work went well, though one truck blew an oil line. Smith said some drivers might have been deceived by the relatively light snowfall. "These kinds of snows, where it's just a little bit of snow, they tend to be a lot slicker on the roads than normal, so everybody ought to be mindful of how fast they go," Smith said. Getting home At Save-A-Lot, clerk Nancy Loman said the store was "extremely busy" Thursday morning, with shoppers picking up milk, bread, eggs, and salt for their driveway and sidewalks. Unlike her co-worker, she had no trouble getting to work - which meant he had at least one way to get back to his car at the end of the day. "We're going to get him unstuck today when we leave at 4. We're going to go help him out," she said.

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