BY REBECCA BRATTEN WEISS
Harrison News-Herald Reporting Journalist
HARRISON COUNTY — Winter Storm Izzy arrived in Harrison County on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 16, dumping about a foot of snow on much of the county. Some areas, such as regions around Tappan Lake, got as much as 16 inches. And Cadiz’s street superintendent Tim Hennis said he doesn’t think he’s seen this much snowfall at one time since President’s Day in 2001 when the county got 18 inches.
A winter storm of this magnitude means a lot of work for the county and village employees who are out keeping the roads clear. Hennis said he and his crews were out for about 21 hours of work since the Cadiz crew’s method is to continuously drive around and clear as the snow falls, instead of waiting and plowing afterward. “It’s tough,” he said. But, he stressed that keeping the roads clear is crucial in case someone has a medical or other emergency.
His crews were out again at 6 a.m, after a short rest, to do some backroads and open up parking areas. They also spread salt and cinders on these areas. “The cinders are basically for grip,” Hennis said. And as a bonus, they’re also eco-friendly, Hennis added. He also said having people stay off the roads during the storm made it a lot easier for them to get their job done.
Will Sedgmer, ODOT transportation manager for Harrison County, was also grateful that they were able to clear the county roads without having to worry about the traveling public. “I appreciate everyone staying off the road, giving us time to do what we needed,” he said.
His crew of 12 was out from Sunday evening until Wednesday evening. Even after the storm had passed through, there was a lot of drifting, which kept the road crews busy as well.
Sedgmer said he couldn’t remember seeing this kind of snowfall during his work on the highways, though he recalled that it used to be more common when he was a child. He recalled the winter of 1993 as especially memorable. That was the year of the “superstorm” blizzard that buried southeastern Ohio in nearly two feet of snow and shut down most of the east coast for days.
Thanks to the efforts of road and highway workers across the county, as well as the forethought of village councils to procure plenty of salt in advance, county residents have been able to get out and travel safely, and schools have been able to reopen as well.