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City proactive dealing with ice storm

With a bit of working experience under their belts in dealing with inclement weather, Iowa Park city officials and workers took a proactive approach to the recent ice storm.

City Manager Mike Price met with all department heads Wednesday afternoon to discuss the predicted storm. In attendance were Police Chief Robert Johnson, Fire Chief Randy Fulbright, Public Works Director David Sherrill, and Parks Director Robbie Matthews.

When asked by Price what measures had been taken or were planned, Matthews said a crew was ready to set up cots and blankets for stranded motorists, and a shelter for the motorists selected (Lakeview Church of God). Chief Fulbright noted that Iowa Park CISD had been contacted, and would have a school bus ready as a transport vehicle.

Chief Johnson said snow chains had been placed on some spare tires for police to use if needed, and extra personnel were on standby with four-wheel drive vehicles.

According to Sherrill, workers had met previous to Wednesday afternoon’s meeting, and equipment, staging areas, and personnel were finalized.

The water maintenance crew was notified to be ready to disconnect water for residences in the event of a leak, and to prepare to assist with street operations if needed.

“When the ice started becoming a hazard on the streets, the street department started spreading mix on the more traveled streets, and tried to keep the traffic flowing safely,” Sherrill said, adding that his workers were also ready to assist emergency vehicles to get to certain locations when requested.

A total of six public works employees worked two shifts during the event, putting down 100 tons of chad and ice melt mix.

“After we noticed the streets had started to thaw, the crews put the maintainer and snow plow to use, and did a very good job of moving the ice off of the roads, which allowed them to dry before the temepratures started to freeze again,” Sherrill said.

The public works director added his department is currently refilling their supply of mix for the next storm, if and when needed.

No motorists were taken to the shelter.