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Work, ser­vices re­sume af­ter icy roads kept peo­ple home

The Covington News - - Front page - By Gabriel Khouli apittman@cov­news.com

The cost of this week’s win­ter weather won’t be fully known un­til next week, but Cov­ing­ton has spent at least $26,718 this week on la­bor and ma­te­ri­als.

Chair­man Kathy Mor­gan said the county’s pub­lic works crews were still work­ing Thurs­day to open as many roads as pos­si­ble through­out the county, and she had no early es­ti­mates. She did say the county had de­cided to or­der ad­di­tional sup­plies of salt and cal­cium chlo­ride.

Life was slowly re­turn­ing to nor­mal in the city as Cov­ing­ton’s trash pickup crews tra­versed the roads for the first time this week and mail car­ri­ers made rounds for a sec­ond straight day.

Cov­ing­ton Pub­lic Works Di­rec­tor Billy Bouch­illon said his crews will pick up trash on Satur­day to at­tempt to make up for the lost days. He ex­pects to be on sched­ule by Tues­day.

Cov­ing­ton postal car­ri­ers strug­gled to de­liver mail Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day as car­ri­ers kept get­ting stuck, be­cause they have to travel so close to the side of the icy roads.

Jerry Romero, man­ager of the Cov­ing­ton Car­rier An­nex, said about 15 car­ri­ers got stuck Wed­nes­day and driv­ers were hav­ing more trou­ble Thurs­day. How­ever, about 95 per­cent of de­liv­er­ies were made. Romero ex­pected an in­flux of mail now that air­planes and trucks were able to travel again. Postal car­ri­ers will be work­ing both

Sun­day and Mon­day to get the mail out.

Out­side of help­ing postal trucks that had be­come stuck, em­ploy­ees with B& H Wrecker Ser­vices said the com­pany was not swamped, re­ceiv­ing about 40 calls from Sun­day night through mid­day Thurs­day. The roads were ob­vi­ously in bad shape, but most peo­ple stayed off the roads. Ginn Mo­tor Com­pany’s col­li­sion cen­ter closed its doors Mon­day and Tues­day be­cause there was no busi­ness.

The Cov­ing­ton Branch Li­brary also re­sumed nor­mal hours Thurs­day and would do the same Fri­day, said Act­ing Li­brary Di­rec­tor Bob Hal­cums. The new Porter Me­mo­rial Branch Li­brary, which had been set to open Mon­day had its de­layed open­ing on Wed­nes­day, and about 50 peo­ple came out to en­joy the build­ing, Hal­cums said.

“ The first peo­ple in were sur­prised we were open and grate­ful,” Hal­cums said. “All sys­tems worked per­fectly, and peo­ple were able to check out books and DVDs to sit out the cold.”

The city will be open for its nor­mal sched­ule Fri­day, while the county will open at 10 a. m.

Mor­gan said the county will have a meet­ing next week to study their re­sponse to this year’s win­ter weather. Em­ploy­ees from pub­lic works, the sher­iff's of­fice and other emer­gency de­part­ments will ex­am­ine the county’s ef­forts and pre­pare for fu­ture storms. The county has not had a storm that caused it to close for three days since the early 1990s, she said.

City Man­ager Steve Hor­ton said ear­lier this week that the city will con­sider pur­chas­ing a salt spreader for fu­ture storms.

“ When you buy that stuff, if you only use it once ev­ery five years, you could prob­a­bly use money more ef­fi­ciently ( else­where), but we’re def­i­nitely in the mar­ket for a spreader,” he said.

Brit­tany Thomas/The Cov­ing­ton News

Ice break­ers: Crews took to the roads on Wed­nes­day to lay gravel and try to clear many of the main thor­ough­fares of snow and ice. The roads were fi­nally clear enough on Thurs­day for many busi­nesses to re­open, but schools stayed closed, be­cause some out­ly­ing high­ways and sub­di­vi­sion streets re­mained treach­er­ous.

Travis Schwartz/The Cov­ing­ton News

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