Winter storm uses up important city resources – Oxford Observer

Photo by Steven Pepper

Despite the sleet and the worsening, the snow was fun while it lasted, as seen in this snow football game between Miami students in front of Millett Hall during last week’s storm. But the snow is all but gone now, and nothing more is expected in the immediate future.

Winter storm Landon brought icy roads, snow drifts and slush that continued from Thursday February 3 through this week. While the streets are clear and the winter storm advisory has long since been rescinded, the cost of the storm has been significant.

According to Oxford Public Services Director Mike Dreisbach, 340 overtime hours were logged by city officials, at a cost of around $14,400.

“We used significant resources to manage this winter storm. The duration of the storm, along with significant freezing rain and sleet before turning to snow, required a lot of labor and materials to keep the streets open,” Dreisbach said.

It took 300 tonnes of road salt to clean the streets of Oxford after last week’s snowstorm. Photo by Kelsey Norris

Road conditions were precarious, but no traffic accidents were reported during the storm period, which lasted from February 3 to the end of February 4.

While no incidents or serious injuries were reported, the police department cited instances of reckless activity, such as people being pulled around town on sleds by cars. Although no injuries have occurred as a result, the ministry has warned of these activities slipping.

During the storm, the Talawanda School District opened its building to use as emergency shelters in the event of a power outage. With only a short power outage, lasting an hour according to Deputy City Manager Jessica Greene, these facilities were not needed.

A total of 300 tonnes of road salt were used, in addition to one tonne of calcium chloride. 620 gallons of diesel fuel and 580 gallons of gasoline were used to power the trucks, plows and cars used to clear the icy roads.

“Although we used significant resources, we are still well positioned to handle future storms,” Dreisbach said. According to him, the city’s road salt supply remains above 50% of its capacity.

The Oxford Family Resource Center (FRC) offered extra rooms during the winter storm as part of its cold shelter program. The center rents out six rooms in a local motel from November to February for those who need short-term shelter from the cold.

These six rooms have been full since the end of November. FRC worked with Butler County Homeless Shelters to provide for others who needed shelter during this time, according to FRC Executive Director Brad Hoblitzell.