Back to business
Work, services resume after icy roads kept people home
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.
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.