Wanda English Burnett- Editor
Just as weather forecasters predicted,
heavy snow fell on Tuesday, February 6 in the tri-state area
including Ripley County. The snow came fast and furious leaving
motorists to combat treacherous roads in a short period of time.
The snow began falling in most areas shortly after noon and
continued until about 9:00 p.m. leaving behind anywhere from
three to seven inches. Another factor that caused road crews
concern was the low temperatures.
Highway Superintendent Owen Heaton Jr. noted that his crews
were ready and on Tuesday morning all of the county road trucks
were housed inside and ready to roll when the snow began to
fall. Everything has been gone through and were
ready, he told The Versailles Republican. Only a short
time later, the snow began to fall and the county trucks would
roll. They were back out on Wednesday morning by 4:00 a.m.
Heaton said that before this snowfall, the county highway had
only used about 150 ton of salt due to the mild weather this
winter. We have plenty of salt and cinders, he noted.
At 5:20 p.m. on Tuesday, the announcement went out that Ripley
County was under a Level Two Snow Emergency. The order from
the Ripley County Commissioners essentially closed all the roads
in the county with the exception of emergency travel. That order
was still in effect on Wednesday morning and the Ripley County
Courthouse and Annex were closed for the day.
Emergency personnel consists of members of law enforcement,
fire departments, emergency medical service providers, search
and rescue organizations, rescue squads, military organizations,
disaster relief organizations, emergency management and required
mutual aid personnel.
Critical occupations personnel are also included in those who
can be out when there is a Level Two emergency declared. This
includes employees of utility companies, highway departments,
towing and wrecker services, fuel delivery suppliers, news media
and hospital and healthcare organizations.
All schools were closed in Ripley County on Wednesday, along
with many club and organization meetings. Some schools began
bussing children home at noon on Tuesday to ensure their safety.
By 4:00 p.m. the visibility was very low with many roads - including
US 50, completely snow covered, making travel hazardous.
The snow emergency was lifted before noon on Wednesday.
WANDA ENGLISH BURNETT
Even roads like US 50, pictured above, were treacherous
on Tuesday afternoon after the snow began falling at a
rapid pace. Visibility was low as motorists crept along.
The Ripley County Commissioners declared a Level Two Snow
Emergency about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, February 6, essentially
declaring roads in the county closed except to emergency
and critical occupations personnel.