Thanks to the folks who cleared the way

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

Last week, as snow continued to fall, covering not just the landscape but the roads, I was one of those lunatics in the car and on the road — I had to work.

I fell madly in love with our car last week, as its four-wheel drive held true, and there was nowhere I couldn’t go.

But still, it was the hard, long, and undoubtedly cold work of a select group of folks that really helped make it possible.

They had a job that, at times, had to be incredibly frustrating, as snow fell faster than it could be plowed, and then drifted back in tidal waves.

Anytime it snows, the folks at the state and county road departments, along with city crews, hit the roads to plow the snow out of the way so you and I can get to work, or to the store, or to the doctor.

But last week, they had their hands full.

It was almost as though the snow that fell on Feb. 8 and 9 was a warm-up. There was minor drifting, but it was nothing compared to what hit us last week.

When Glen Baxter and John Logan Brent arrived to last week’s Henry County Fiscal Court meeting, both men looked more than a little worn out and stressed.

Baxter told me earlier that day that three of the county’s snow clearing vehicles broke down. The weight of the snow was too great. Some of the drifts, he added, were so high they were at the top of the windows on the county plows.

Those are the drifts that even a plow has trouble getting through — if it can make it at all — and those were the spots where the county brought in backhoes to chip the mountain down to a manageable size. The county also received help from farmers and other residents.

For these folks, it’s a long, grueling task — but one that must be done. The county crews operate from sun-up to sun-down, and often arrive home too tired to do more than eat and sleep.

But there are a few knuckleheads out there who will complain that things weren’t done fast enough or well enough.

But that isn’t me.

Clearing the roads of snow, no matter how much there is, is a hard job. Somebody has to do it.

And to those somebodies who put in 12- and 16-hour shifts behind the plow — thank you very much!

Jonna can be reached at editor@hclocal.com