Noel Pre­pared For In­clement Weather

McDonald County Press - - FRONT PAGE - By Rachel Dick­er­son

De­spite an un­usu­ally warm De­cem­ber, the Noel Street Depart­ment has still been gear­ing up for cold weather and the like­li­hood of snow.

Street Su­per­in­ten­dent Christina Wil­lis has been work­ing 10 years for the depart­ment, three of which she has been head of the depart­ment. Her years of ex­pe­ri­ence make her an ex­pert on win­ter weather in Noel.

“I try to make sure we’re pre­pared,” she said. “We’ve got ev­ery­thing ready for (in­clement weather).”

The depart­ment has two snow­plows at the ready along with backup blades. Sand for trac­tion has been pur­chased, and an ad­di­tional amount was left­over from last year. Snow chains are ready and wait­ing to be placed on all the equip­ment, Wil­lis said.

“We al­ways make sure we’ve got ev­ery­thing fu­eled up and do a pre-check on ev­ery­thing be­fore we start get­ting hit,” she added. “It’s all about safety first.”

She ex­plained the process the depart­ment fol­lows once the flakes start to fall. First they spread sand at all the in­ter­sec­tions, the post of­fice and the doc­tor’s of­fice — all high traf­fic ar­eas — fol­lowed by hills and Main Street. Then they move out into the sub­di­vi­sions.

“We just want to make sure peo­ple can come to a stop,” she said. “Alexan­der (Street) gets a lit­tle scary some­times, and Macy (Street) is like a kid’s dream to slide down. We’ve had a few scary runs.”

The depart­ment also takes spe­cial care of res­i­dents who they know need to get out of their homes to go to the doc­tor. Last year two res­i­dents had spe­cial med­i­cal needs that meant they might need

to go to the doc­tor fre­quently, even dur­ing a snow storm.

“We try to make sure they can get in and out,” Wil­lis said.

Street Depart­ment work­ers keep the snow plows run­ning as con­stantly as pos­si­ble to keep the roads clear, Wil­lis said.

“We kind of like the snow,” she added. “It’s fun to knock it all out. The plow doesn’t do much for ice. It will just make it a slicker sheet run­ning that plow over it. We still try to put the sand down, but it still doesn’t do a whole lot for it.”

RACHEL DICK­ER­SON MCDON­ALD COUNTY PRESS

Christopher Craig, Cory Nel­son and Street Su­per­in­ten­dent Christina Wil­lis take a break from work­ing at the Noel Street Depart­ment. The three have pre­pared the city for any snow or ice that may be on the way.

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