County road ops ready for ice with trucks, sand

December 18, 2013

Looks like we may have dodged a bullet this weekend for what, a few days ago, had looked like arctic temperatures and the threat of sleet hovering like a sharply pointed icicle.

Though there is a chance for precipitation on Saturday, the temperatures will be high enough to prevent another freeze like the one that kept schools and businesses closed for days.

Donald Linney, head of the county’s Road Operations department, said that if ice should once again turn the county into a virtual ice skating rink, crews will work overtime to sand the most problematic areas, just like they did last week.

“We put in just at 239 hours,” Linney said of himself and seven Road Ops employees who worked overtime sanding roads.

He said that workers sanded “a little bit” on Friday after the Thursday night, Dec. 5, ice storm and then heavily on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday when many people were stranded in their homes with no let-up in sight.

“Our big day was Saturday (Dec. 7),” Linney said. “We put out 260 tons of sand. Two-hundred-and-sixty tons sounds like a lot – and it is. But there’s not enough sand in Hood County to do everything.”

Precinct 1 County Commissioner James Deaver, who worked in Road Ops for 26 years, said that Linney and his crew were “well prepared.”

“They really did a good job,” he said. “When they know a storm is coming, they get the sanders ready and park them in the barn.”

The county “barn” is located on Highway 377 between Granbury and Tolar.

Linney said that he sends crews to areas where help is needed most, such as places where there is one entry and exit. He said that the drivers of the county’s two sand trucks slip and slide just like other motorists when the roads are icy.

Nevertheless, there was only one “incident” after the recent ice storm.

One of the trucks hit a rock structure near the entrance to Indian Harbor south of Granbury, Linney stated.

However, the housing development is going to handle the repair, he said.

[email protected]| 817-573-7066, ext. 258

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