Herald-Whig View

Winter storm tests region, presents challenges

Posted: Jan. 16, 2019 10:20 am

MORE than a foot of snow fell on the region last weekend, making a wintry wonderland for many children but leaving a mess for motorists.

Throughout the area, traffic was slow-going, if it was going at all. That, however, wasn't for lack of effort on the part of road crews, which by and large have done a terrific job of clearing streets and moving mountains of snow out of the way of drivers. Their efforts deserve to be lauded.

In Quincy, major streets were relatively clear Sunday morning due to the work of 12 regular plow trucks and one extra plow working in addition to "another three one-ton trucks trying to help the bigger plow trucks out at intersections and cul-de-sacs," Kevin McClean, director of Quincy Central Services, told The Herald-Whig.

Motorists played a large role, as well.

McClean said that drivers had told him that the call for people to voluntarily move parked vehicles off snow emergency routes helped reduce the obstacles, allowing the work to be done more quickly.

Towing companies reported dozens of vehicles slid off roads, starting just after the snow began Friday night, but only a few injuries were reported.

Hospitals also saw the typical spate of injuries from slips and falls, as well as an influx of patients complaining of chest pain after shoveling snow.

Many businesses wisely kept their doors closed over the weekend, allowing their employees to stay safe at home.

But Mother Nature won't allow any rest. Our news-gathering partners at WGEM are reporting another system Wednesday night could bring snow up to 1 inch, sleet about one-fourth of an inch and a light glaze of ice.

And a storm coming over the weekend will bring snow and some freezing rain Friday evening, with significant accumulation expected Saturday.

An arctic blast will bring bitterly cold air Sunday with a high of about 10 degrees.

With this in mind, residents must remain cautious. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommends the following tips for winter storms:

º Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.

º Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.

º Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.

º Reduce the risk of a heart attack. Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow.

º Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia and begin treatment right away.

º Check on neighbors. Older adults and young children are more at risk in extreme cold.