County road clearing under way

With ice on the ground and snow in the forecast this afternoon, the priority for the Brown County Highway Department today will be clearing the major blacktop roads, Superintendent Mike Magner reported this morning.

Magner said there are 10 trucks out now throughout the county.

“We’re going to concentrate on the major paved roads today, and we’re kind of waiting to see when the snow is going to start, because some of those, we’ll probably have to go back and hit a second time,” he said.

“Whenever we have a travel advisory like this, our priority is to keep the main roads open, and some of the secondary roads we may not get to right away.”

Those secondary roads include dead-end roads and roads with less traffic volume.

“We’re a little different today, because we’re not worried about school buses. We’ll concentrate more on like Helmsburg Road or Salt Creek and the major roads,” Magner said.

Brown County Schools Superintendent Laura Hammack announced yesterday afternoon that school would be cancelled today due to the winter storm.

Magner said it was a challenge dealing with rain, then sleet/ice.

“We just basically had to wait for the rain to quit, and then we started at about 5 (in the morning) when it started turning to sleet and ice, because with the rain, anything we put down was just going to wash off and be wasted,” Magner said.

“We just had to wait for it to start to ice up, so that put us behind the 8-ball.”

Magner said his crew and trucks will be running continuously until the snow stops.

“We’ll be running late into the evening and (there’s) a good chance we’ll be running some tomorrow, too,” he said.

The department has not received too many calls this morning, he added.

“Hopefully, people are paying attention to the travel advisories. Stay out of our way, please,” he said.

At 10 a.m., dispatch at the Brown County Sheriff’s Department reported no accidents or slide-offs.

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.