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Washington County road crews prepare for Sandy's arrival

October 29, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Highway Department is preparing for Hurricane Sandy to move into the area.

The roads department has snow plows at the ready for use in hauling debris, such as downed tree limbs, from roadways in the county, Washington County Highway Department Director Ed Plank said at about 7 a.m. Monday.

The county roads department also is clearing leaves from drains as a precautionary measure, Plank said.

“We are checking drains to make sure they’re open and setting up trucks with snow plows for debris,” Plank said. “Everybody’s just trying to do everything to be prepared.”

Checking the drains that take water into the stormwater system could be a bit of a problem, Plank said, because so many leaves have fallen that many of the drains could be covered.

The roads department was prepared to handle problems as they crop up, Plank said.

“We are expecting tree damage, power outages, and high water,” he said. “Hopefully we won’t have so many power outages.”

From 80 to 85 employees, almost the entire roads staff, were scheduled to work Monday. Workers for the department were on their normal shifts, but some might have to work longer hours depending on the amount of damage,  Plank said.

“We haven’t reached that point to make that decision,” he said. Monday night “could be a long night.”
In addition to checking drains and setting up trucks at each of the department’s four locations across the county, Plank said that chainsaws are being sharpened and Environmental Services has provided sandbags to have on hand, Plank said.

“We’re just double-checking everything,” Plank said. 

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