By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor
A fleet of a dozen road graders worked through the weekend to clear rural roads after a strong winter stormed blanketed Roosevelt County with up to 12 inches of snow.
“We’ve just about got it now where people can get out and people can feed,” said Roosevelt County Road Supervisor John Bohm late Monday. “We’ve been at it since the storm began Friday.”
Bohm estimated that 90 percent of the more than 1,200 miles of county roads had been cleared by 5 p.m. Monday.
Bohm said reports he was getting from his operators varied between 6 and 12 inches of snow throughout the county. He said the heaviest snow appeared to be in the Elida area and in the panhandle of the county on the mesas near House.
Bohm said there were drifts of 4 to 5 feet in a few places, mostly adjacent to wheat fields.
“Had it not been for the wind, it wouldn’t have been bad at all,” Bohm said.
He said that winds Saturday night drifted snow onto roads that had already been cleared.
In the city of Portales the biggest concern since the storm hit was drainage from melting snow.
“We’re trying to keep it (snow and ice) broke up and draining today,” Portales Public Works Director Tom Howell said Monday. “We didn’t want to add insult to injury with a flood.”
Howell said the city began operating two blades and a salt/sand truck Saturday after street conditions deteriorated. He said a crew of six worked most of the day Saturday clearing the city’s main street arteries.
Crews were back late Saturday night to sand intersections and worked again Sunday morning and Sunday evening.
Howell said for residential streets the idea is to only blade trouble spots because of the problems piling the snow up can cause.
“You’ve got to balance how much you pile up,” Howell said.
Bohm and Howell said the storm was well short of being a major event and they say residents had been very understanding.
Bohm said because the emergency plan had been activated, however, the county may be eligible for state emergency declaration funds.