Kudos to road crews

January 30, 2014

No one deserves a thank you today more than Department of Transportation and Clinton public works crews who have braved the cold, late nights, early mornings and slick roads yet again to ensure travel throughout the county is as safe as possible during Sampson’s second winter storm of the season.

While it’s nearly historic for Sampson to see this much snow in less than a month, we’ve been able to enjoy the wintry precipitation more because we’ve been safe in the knowledge that transportation crews are at the ready, particularly as forecasters were predicting the beautiful powdery snow of Tuesday to turn into a bitterly cold sleet and ice storm by this morning.

Crews applied salt and brine to roadways in advance of the predicted winter storm Monday and were back out again Tuesday night adding further treatment to the asphalt. Then, Wednesday morning, long before most of us ever woke from our slumber, crews were back at it, dragging roadways in an attempt to make them passable.

Roads Tuesday and Wednesday were in pretty good shape because of all that preparedness, ensuring the best possible scenarios for those who had to travel, and we have those road crews to thank for their diligence.

With the predicted wintry mix that was expected to begin falling after this writing and continue through Thursday morning, it is likely Sampson’s roads will be covered once again, this time with a dangerous, icy film, but the work that has already been done should help make what could be an impossible situation a little bit better. That’s again thanks to watchful vigilance and a diligence on the part of public works and transportation crews.

We know secondary roads across this great expanse of county probably aren’t in the shape our main highways are, but we hope folks know, and understand, that road crews have a priority list they must follow. That doesn’t mean they won’t plow the road, it just means with some 1,500 miles of highway to take care of it could take a little longer for them to get to it.

Some residents may think it’s taking entirely too much time to clear all the county’s roads, particularly the ones they want to travel, but what might look correct from an outsider’s vantage point might look entirely different to those responsible for making roads safe and passable.

We urge patience and gratitude over criticism of individuals doing their best to assess the problems and resolve them as quickly as possible, trying to understand the magnitude of the jobs DOT and Public Works crews have in front of them as snow gives way to an icy mess.

We think road crews have done a remarkable job, and they deserve our thanks and our praise.

Like the N.C. Highway Patrol, we urge residents to stay in, stay warm and stay safe, leaving the roadways for only those who absolutely must travel. No matter how good the work has been to get our roads ready, snow, sleet and freezing rain can and will wreak havoc.