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MLK Holiday teams with snowstorm to turn Cadiz into ghost town

CADIZ — Cadiz Police Lt. Ron Carter called Monday’s storm “crippling” as it’s the worst he’s seen in a long time. Carter said it’s been a task just to keep the cars cleaned off and ready to go.

And they did patrol nearly a handful of rides in the early morning hours of Monday but saw hardly any traffic or accidents.

The day wasn’t without chance-takers though, as Carter pulled a motorist over on U.S. 22 for tailgating and actually trying to pass other vehicles. He said it was dangerous because conditions out there weren’t any better than the alley next to their police station.

“We’re worried about being safe and driving in it ourselves,” Carter said of the conditions early Monday. All across the board many road officials said not many accidents were seen other than some vehicles sliding off the road and stuck. Harrison County Highway Superintendent Randy Cunningham said wind and drifting snow were the biggest culprit.

“We’re out, we’re doing our thing, it’s just kind of a never ending battle with this wind,” Cunningham explained. He said they first began rolling out at 5 a.m. and when asked why not sooner, he said they just don’t have the manpower as the state agencies.

“Well, unfortunately we do not have the manpower to run twenty-four hour shifts,” Cunningham said. “I can’t speak for ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) but I know they go around the clock … we don’t have the manpower to do that.”

Cunningham said the bad areas were “across the board” with no one specific site that’s worse than the other.

He said it was pretty much the same conditions across the entire county. He also said there were not a lot of accidents witnessed, as well.

“I think people that didn’t have to be out I think stayed home and people that had to be out just slowed down and gave themselves extra time to kind of avoid those things,” he said, adding that the Martin Luther King holiday also contributed to less traffic with the banks and schools being shut down.

Mike Stuber, transportation manager for ODOT’s Harrison County office on Industrial Park Road for District 11, which includes Belmont, Carroll, Harrison and Jefferson Counties among their coverage areas, said things had begun to break up a few hours before noon. He also spoke of the high winds and drifts causing some problems with no accidents amounting to much, except for one vehicle stuck in a ditch during the night.

Stuber said their crews began about noon on Sunday preparing for the next day, which included a 12-hour shift with another similar shift that followed into Monday where they will rotate shifts again.

Stuber asked for the public to give them room to work “and we’ll do the best to get things cleared up for them.” His counterpart in Belmont County, Transportation Manager Jerry Campbell said U.S. 250 wasn’t that bad at about 10 a.m. Monday, at least the section that runs through Jefferson and Harrison County.

“I mean our roads do have snow on them, don’t get me wrong because it’s been snowing all night long,” Campbell said but added the part about their manpower being able to handle the load while the township and county agencies aren’t equipped with.

“Please take their time,” he said of what the public should know. And if people do have to go somewhere, plan ahead and be cautious.

The National Weather Service’s Mike Kenneday in Pittsburgh, said not much more snow was expected later into Monday. The local area with the most snow was Mt. Pleasant Township with 10.5 inches with Bellaire and St. Clairsville totaling around nine inches and Wheeling with eight.

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