Area sees little snowfall
Feb 13, 2014 | 1412 views |  0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
David Atchison/The Daily Home
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Thursday morning sun melted the snow that fell throughout the night. Snow covered the ground in St. Clair and Talladega counties.
David Atchison/The Daily Home

Thursday morning sun melted the snow that fell throughout the night. Snow covered the ground in St. Clair and Talladega counties.
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Local officials said Talladega and St. Clair counties dodged the bullet with only limited snowfall across The Daily Home area.

“We really did,” said Bryan Schaefers, the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency planner. “It could have been so much worse.”

Southern St. Clair County, which includes Pell City, only received a dusting of snow after ice and snow moved into the area late Wednesday afternoon.

“People did a lot better than two weeks ago,” Schaefers said. “People stayed home and did not travel.”

He said schools were also closed and children remained home.

“We were much better prepared for this,” Schaefers said.

He said people were warned ahead of time to get home by 3 p.m. Wednesday in anticipating for 2-3 inches of snow.

“People were really listening and knew what they had to do,” Schaefers said.

He said at one point Wednesday night roads did become impassible, but snow melted quickly as the morning came Thursday.

“This morning there are still three roads that are closed,” Schaefers said.

The three roads, Chandler Mountain Road, Mt. View and Hair Pin Curve are all in the northern part of St. Clair County, which received the most snow, Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.

Schaefers said there were several accidents across St. Clair County as the wintry mixture of ice, sleet and snow entered the county.

Sgt. Don Newton, the public information officer for the Pell City Police Department, said there were no weather-related accidents on city roads Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.

Schaefers said temperatures hovered around freezing most of Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.

Temperatures were expected to reach 41 by noon Thursday, and temperatures were above freezing by mid-morning Thursday.

Schaefer said another difference with this storm and the one two weeks ago was the temperature was much colder during the first round of the snow, and the storm moved into the area quickly, catching people by surprised.

Road conditions deteriorated quickly in the first snow storm.

“We had a lot more warning this time,” he said.

All Pell City offices opened Thursday morning as normal, and St. Clair County offices delayed openings an hour of two.

While the winter storm only dusted the area here, ice and snow caused massive power outages in Georgia and South Carolina.

Alabama State Trooper post in Jacksonville reported no accidents in Talladega County during the winter weather Wednesday night and early Thursday.

Two crews from Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative in Talladega traveled to Georgia to assist in power restoration efforts there in the wake of winter storm Pax.

Southern Rivers Energy, an 18,600-member electric cooperative headquartered in Barnesville, Ga., reported early Thursday that it had nearly half of its consumers without electricity.

“We have sent 10 men and their equipment to Georgia to help restore service to cooperative members who are out of power,” said Leland Fuller, CVEC general manager. “We have been in contact with our statewide association for the past couple of days helping coordinate Alabama’s response to expected requests.”

Statewide, cooperatives sent dozens of crews to Georgia and South Carolina to help those Cooperatives rebuild their systems.

Trees and tree limbs toppled under the weight of ice accumulations, knocking down power lines and poles.

With such widespread damage, individual utilities don’t have enough workers on hand to restore all of the damage in a timely manner.

In situations like this, the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives coordinates with other similar statewide associations to organize additional assistance.

“This is one of the great things about cooperatives,” Fuller said. “We help each other in times of need. Each of us has the crews and equipment needed to respond quickly and effectively when disaster strikes. We have had to request assistance from other cooperatives to help us recover from storms. This is our turn to help someone else.”

Contact David Atchison at datchison@dailyhome.com