So what does it take to clear two feet of snow? Add in sub zero weather freezing said snow? I was able to touch base with Myron Parizek who is in charge of Benton County's Secondary Roads.
He had approached the supervisors to ask that his staff also receive a day off of work to make up for the day that other county workers were given off due to the weather. I have to admit, when the county announced the closings, I had the same thought. I completely understand why they didn't want to have unnecessary risks taken during a storm like that, but it's only fair to give the guys risking their own lives at LEAST a paid day off, and I'd even spring for two for compensation of the stress of days like this.
I asked him briefly about the work that our Benton County workers put in to make a path through all of that.in total, Parizek said that the county had approximately 24 men out running the plows and maintainers/graders with 14 vehicles running from 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day during the storm trying to carve out roads.
In total, they had four vehicles break down, but also had four spares. As of last week, they had two that remain broken down due to the availability of parts.
There are approximately 975 miles of rock roads, 90+miles of dirt roads that is not maintained during the winter, and roughly 200 miles of paved roads.
It's hard to remember the chaos caused just a few short weeks ago in that storm, but I do remember feeling grateful for all of the men out there gritting their teeth and gripping the wheel of those monster vehicles just so that we could keep functioning.
Thanks, Myron and all of the wonderful men that keep our county up and running when it's almost impossible!