Emergency officials in Lee County are reviewing how they handled last week's snowy weather. City and county officials are sharing information this week in hopes they can be even better prepared next time.
This is what Lee County looked like less than a week ago. Snow and ice covered the roads making it dangerous to travel. The Lee County EMA says responders worked well in responding to the conditions.
“We had the resources,” said Rita Smith with the Lee County EMA. “Our county engineer is phenomenal. He was in communication with us constantly about which roads-our law enforcement, everybody was communicating.”
Part of that communication was with the Department of Transportation, and they asked the city of Auburn for help.
“The DOT had issues with one of their spreaders,” said Auburn City Engineer Jeff Ramsey. “So, they asked us to take over spreading sand on some of their bridges. I think the communications went very good with the DOT.”
Emergency officials in Lee County are indeed grateful that people did stay off of the roads. They say it prevented injuries and possibly even fatalities.
For example, the Lee County EMA would use Facebook to update the conditions of the roads, or to see what roads people needed to know about.
“Or if we did know, we could say that bridge is iced over even though it warmed up just a little yesterday. It's still not safe to be on. We'd like to think that saved a lot of lives by doing that,” Smith said.
While they say the response was excellent, emergency teams are still noting the issues that came up.
“Obviously there are always things we can do. One of our spreaders, the hose broke on it. We were down for about an hour replacing one of the hydraulic hoses. One of the things we are going to do is make sure we have extra hoses in the truck so we can replace them while we are out in the field,” said Ramsey.
The city of Auburn says they had all the resources they needed to fight the ice. The Alabama Department of Transportation says they don't expect to buy any more winter weather equipment.