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Winter Storms and Roads

Thick snow falls softly, generating opportunities for building snowmen. Ice-coated trees and bushes sparkle brilliantly, producing a spectacular panorama for the eyes. Motor vehicles slide helplessly, causing stress to drivers ... oops! What happened to the winter wonderland?

When a storm deposits frozen precipitation on streets and highways, the fascination with its beauty swiftly dwindles in almost everyone who must drive in it. The danger is real; lives and property are in jeopardy. To reduce the hazards of driving in such conditions, the employees of the Road Department respond as quickly as possible, oftentimes in the middle of the night while snow, ice or freezing rain is still falling. The Habersham County Road Department is responsible for maintaining county roads. State-maintained roads, such as Highway 365, are the responsibility of the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Once they're on the job, what do they do?

First, they determine the best method to use to clear the streets. The procedures utilized vary with the type of situations that are encountered. Then they start to work: blading (scraping) snow, melting ice and removing fallen trees and other obstructions.

As can be imagined, clearing hundreds of miles of county roads takes time. For that reason, depending on the severity of the storm, employees may put in many extra hours. Overtime, equipment, and materials can make winter storms very costly to the county, and thus to taxpayers. Everything considered, though, most people would agree that keeping streets passable is well worth the price that must be paid.


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