The Pratt County Road Department hopes to have all county roads open within the next couple of days.


The Pratt County Road Department hopes to have all county roads open within the next couple of days.

County crews have put in long hours since the weekend blizzard dumped 28 inches of wind whipped snow that created rural snow drifts that reached the top of the graders, said Randy Phillippi, Pratt County road supervisor.

“With all the wind and accumulation of snow there are some pretty big drifts out there, Phillippi said.

The county crews concentrated breaking open roads to homes to get people out. They rescued a motorist out that was stranded in a pickup for 12 hours from Friday night to Saturday morning.

The snow was so deep in some locations the road graders could not break through even with their snowplows. In those locations front-end loaders were brought in and snow was loaded onto trucks to clear the roads, Phillippi said.

County crews encountered the same conditions across the county and no area seemed to be hit worse than others.

Farmer Fred Newby lives northwest of Cullison and he has spent several days clearing roads in his area with his big John Deere tractor with a 14 feet dozer blade. He measured the snow and found they had 34 inches on level ground, one of the highest amounts in the county.

A few east/west roads in his area are still not open but the sun is helping melt snow and he continues to open roads. The roads that are open are sloppy and wet, Newby said.

He hasn’t heard of any cattle losses but the family dog, that is 20 inches high, was rescued from the yard, Newby said.

Farmer Donald Brubaker in the Sawyer area said a grader went by his house Monday morning. Things had been clogged up at his residence until Sunday and after Monday things were going pretty well.

They helped a neighbor with his cattle and got a four-wheel drive tractor stuck but got Fields Dirt Construction to pull them out.

The roads in his area are open, drying out and firming up faster than anticipated.

“It’s really surprising it didn’t last long. I would say in our area it’s in pretty good shape,” Brubaker said.

While this storm dumped a lot of snow it didn’t beat the February blizzard in 1971 that lasted four days and put 18 feet snow drifts in Sawyer, Brubaker said.