Mt. Vernon Register-News

December 27, 2012

Traffic still affected by winter storm

Officials urge residents to stay off the roads if they don’t have to get out


MT. VERNON — — The winter storm that hit the region Christmas evening and Wednesday is still affecting traffic.

According to Dale Mick, assistant public works director in Mt. Vernon, crews started working to clear streets at 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning — and expected to continue working today as cold temperatures caused slushy snow to freeze over creating black ice on many roadways.

“We are clearing the major arteries first, then the secondaries later,” Mick said Wednesday. “It’s cleaning up pretty good, as the road underneath is warm and it’s melting and getting slushy.”

Mick reported working one five man crew all day on Wednesday, and urged motorists to exercise caution around road clearing equipment. Mick said those who can park off street will help with the cleanup efforts.

“We haven’t had a lot of people on the roads,” Mick said. “There is no school and a lot of people didn’t work, which is making it easier on us.”

Mt. Vernon Police Chief Chris Mendenall said if residents can stay home, they should.

“If they don’t need to get out in it, that’s the best thing,” Mendenall said. “We know the side roads are worse than the main roads. The city crews are out working on the roads and doing a good job, but it takes time. ... People who do have to get out should drive slowly and allow more time for arriving at their destination. But, if you don’t have to get out, stay in and enjoy the holidays.”

State crews have been working from the Mt. Vernon office since 9 p.m. Christmas day to clear roadways and to treat streets before snow turns to ice. State crews located further south started working on the roads and highways by 5 p.m. on Christmas.