Despite record-breaking snowfall and the accumulation of ice on heavily-traveled routes last week, Billy Thurmond said Dawson County roadways looked pretty darn good.
The emergency services director said it’s the most snow he’s seen since 1993’s blizzard, but all state and county agencies did their part to prepare for the worst.
And it paid off, Thurmond said.
As snow arrived Sunday night and early Monday morning, Thurmond said officials opened up the emergency operations center.
“One of our goals was preparation,” he said. “We prepared the trucks with a salt and gravel mixture before the storm occurred.”
Dawson County’s road maintenance crew hit the county roads, while the Georgia Department of Transportation salted and plowed state routes.
Thurmond said that following the storm, Dawson County roads “looked better than many in the area. They done a real good job, and I’ll give an ‘attaboy’ to the citizens too for heeding the warnings to stay home.”
The calls that emergency services received posed the problem of navigating the dangerous roads.
“Some of the difficulties involved just being able to get around in response to some of the emergency calls we had,” he said.
According to Thurmond, the sheriff’s office teamed up with emergency services so that enough four-wheel drive vehicles would be available to respond to calls.
“Luckily for us,” he added, “we didn’t really have any down trees or power outages we were informed of ... as far as emergency calls, we had very few.”
Thurmond said 1993’s blizzard was probably worse than the one last week.
“One thing that helped this time, there was more snow than there was ice in this area,” he said. “Snow is a whole lot easier to get around in, easier to work with as far as getting it off the roadways.”
He said areas south of Dawson County had more trouble with ice.
“We were fortunate to have all the snow first and then a little bit of ice on top of that.”
Overall, he said he was proud of all who helped during the winter storm.
“They did a great job as always to make sure citizens are safe,” he said.