Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 10, 2013

Despite winter hazards county fares well

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — This past weekend was certainly one better spent indoors no matter where one was in Garvin County, though despite winter storms Thursday and Friday, things weren’t near as bad as they could have been.

In fact, according to those like County Emergency Management Director Bud Ramming, most of the difficulties came during the initial hours of the freezing rain and ice when a series of roll-overs and vehicles sliding off the roadway occurred.

Work began as soon as possible through county commissioner orders to salt and sand roadways throughout, which help keep at least the main drives passable and short of an oilfield route near Lindsay, no roadways were closed.

“There was less traffic than usual due to the conditions,” said Ramming, adding how the one road near Lindsay ended up being closed because of a hill that remained treacherous and was the site of collisions involving a pickup and tractor trailers.

“All in all I think everything wasn’t that bad for the conditions we had. Everybody was using extreme caution.”

Ramming pointed out that they were in constant contact with state emergency management and the American Red Cross, in case they needed supplies or were needed to help establish a shelter.

However, he noted that neither circumstance materialized and the problem areas like the county roads have been avoided by the people who would use them normally.

Echoing those thoughts, Pauls Valley Fire Department Chief Mark Norman pointed out that once people discovered conditions were getting slick everywhere, the reports of accidents dropped off considerably.

Other than one call for assistance home fire in Wynnewood, they did not respond to that many emergencies leading into the weekend and said most of their work also dealt with early accident calls Thursday afternoon and evening.

“It was pretty crazy there for a little while, but after it started sleeting it all but stopped,” said Norman, adding how during the worst of the precipitation they would get additional wreck calls as soon as they reached one site or another.

City Manager James Frizell stated that while their own sand trucks have been kept busy each day since the storms, the city limits of Pauls Valley did not develop any major issues or interruption in utilities.

Along with Ramming, he noted there were no reported power failures and how in some ways, the roads in neighborhoods have only gotten slicker as the snow and sleet melted and refroze Sunday and Monday.

In the end, what the city deals with as far as the weather will ultimately be seen as everything thaws out, including any water line issues.

If those issues develop, a majority of them will have to wait for warmer weather so crews can safely fix them.

“Under the circumstances it could have been a lot worse,” said Frizell, who also urged going about town slowly until the rest of the ice melts. “It remains slick.”