County road crews work hard to clear drifting snow from second storm.
By Gale Rose
Pratt County road crews had just a couple of days rest before climbing back into their road graders and trucks and heading back out to start clearing roads again.
County crews worked 12 to 14 hour shifts as they plowed their way through snowdrifts that were four feet to five feet deep, said Randy Phillippi, county road supervisor.
All the county roads were opened on Friday from the first snow but are drifting again.
The cleared roads from the first snow are actually making the second round of clearing roads more difficult.
When the snow plows clear the roads, they create ridges of snow on the sides of the roads that are taller than the original depth of snow.
As the wind blows the snow in this second round, it drifts level with the top of the ridges at the side of the road making it more difficult to clear, Phillippi said.
The county has 14 graders with snowplows plus plows on four trucks. All the equipment is out as they continue to battle whiteout conditions.
Most of the blowing snow is fresh. A few spots in the county were blowing over the weekend but most of first snowfall had crusted over.
The county has everything out and all 36 county crewmembers are working hard to keep the 1,400 miles of county road open.
"We've got all our snow plows out but roads are drifting shut as fast as we open them up," Phillippi said. "That's all we can do."