Winter finally arrived on Thursday, Jan. 12, as Lafayette County received its first major snowstorm of the new year.
Lafayette County accumulated approximately 5 inches of snow staring in the early morning hours of Jan. 12 and continuing into the afternoon. Winds picked up mid-day causing snow to drift in some areas. Light snow fell throughout the night leaving an additional dusting of snow Friday morning. Darlington Community School District released students at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday and all extra curricular activities in the area were canceled due to the weather.
Tom Jean of the Lafayette County Highway Department said the cleanup went well.
“It was a fairly normal storm, but we did have a fair amount of overtime,” Jean said.
Between the six state and 14 county sections, crews racked up approximately 120 hours of overtime for the single storm event. The entire cleanup process took approximately 14 hours on Thursday and crews worked on Friday during regular business hours to finish up.
“With the warm temperatures lately we really have to be cautious because the shoulders aren’t frozen,” Jean said. “The gravel could get plowed into the ditch. The shoulder gravel is a high price maintenance item.”
Over the weekend crews worked to maintain some areas where snow continued to drift across the roadways. Jean said the sustained winds moving the snow was more of an issue than the amount of snow that fell within the county.
“It’s been an atypical winter,” Jean said. “It’s nice to for once catch your breath. This winter has been a huge savings to the county.”
Although he hasn’t yet calculated the exact savings, Jean said the county has saved in fuel costs, salt materials, overtime, maintenance to equipment and wear and tear of the roadways.
Since snow removal has been limited so far this winter, Jean and his department have been able to work on other more permanent projects within the county.