The Main Stream Media likes to believe they're experts when it comes to snow removal. WBOC would rather spend 1/3 of their broadcast telling you how wonderful they are for bringing formula to one of the local islands and then go on about how horrible it must be to be stranded because of the ice. Am I to believe the people living on these islands never expected and or prepared for such a thing? Oh well, it is what it is. I just think they could have spent more time investigating what YOU are most interested in, why are the roads still like they are and when are our kids going to go back to school.
We've certainly seen a lot worse here in the 15 years I've been on the Shore but for some reason, ever since a Republican stepped into the County Executives Office, the Media wants to go after him because the roads just aren't good enough.
OK, here's the deal with this storm and the road conditions. First of all you should know that the County's Snow Plows are still running 24/7. What I found interesting that NO ONE is telling you is, before O'Malley took away your Highway User Funds, the Roads Division had 60 full time people. Now they have 20! That's a really big deal. In order to clear the roads the roads division in the County has to borrow staff from the Landfill and guess what you didn't know, they only get them for ONE DAY, PERIOD! So the very first day of snow fall becomes the key day to get things done.
Now, did you know there are 700 miles of roads to be plowed in Wicomico County. Do you really know how huge that is? Oh, it's easy to talk about how the State Highway clears so much more but you have to understand the difference between plowing STRAIGHT roads down a highway verses side streets at 15 mph.
Then there's courts in developments, which are usually done FIRST. The reason why is, once they clear them out and the snow can't be pushed down the road, they only want to block the residents driveway ONCE because they cannot go back and do it a second time. Here's what you don't know. These culdesacs/courts take at least 20 minutes each. Guess what, there's some 200 of them in the County. There's a LOT more to plowing then you realize.
OK, so there's a LOT of people asking WHY there's still snow on the roads. Usually here on the Shore we get rain before the snow starts falling. That didn't happen this time. What's so unusual ever since this storm started is the fact that it has been so cold before, during and after. There's a science to how you clear the roads but this time around because of the cold temps, all you can do is keep going back over and over again.
Now remember what I said earlier. On the first day they have additional people from the Landfill helping the roads division out, that's not the case the last few days. The roads division has in fact been out day and night doing what they can and guess what, unlike what the local media is telling you, the County DID in fact plow all 700 miles of roads and continue to go out there and salt and plow them again and again for days now. On a side note, do you really comprehend how much 700 miles are at 15 miles per hour? The County also plowed 40 miles of dirt roads as well.
HOWEVER, salt doesn't work under 20 degrees. Some say it doesn't work under 30 degrees, it just depends who you talk to. Because it doesn't LOOK like there's as many plows on the roads, (in which there aren't, compared to the first day) many are thinking the County isn't doing their job, not true. The City, on the other hand, is horrible. However, give them credit in the sense that they are experiencing the same problems with it being so cold. I can't say if they have cleared every single road and from what I've been told that's a big NO.
Now let's talk about the snow drifts like the image I've provided above. You should know that the County knows where they are and continue to go over those areas both day and night, multiple times a day. HOWEVER, what you're seeing on all roads that have the white stuff still on them is ice under that snow. Yes, they can salt those areas but remember, it's negative SEVEN degrees outside this morning. The salt will not work.
As for Dr. John Fredericksen stating his schools were cleared, why not the roads. Well, IF the man would have made the same call I did and asked an EXPERT, he would have learned exactly why. How he can shove 700 miles of roads in Culver's face and claim the City and County aren't doing their jobs, I'd like to know where the man got his degree in snow removal? He owes Ireton and Culver an apology.
So now we're going to go one step further. Rather then all of you believing what I'm saying here, I've made arrangements this morning and throughout the day for the Roads Division Department Head Lee Outen to follow this Post throughout the day. He will look at every single one of your comments and questions and he will answer every one of them.
This has NEVER been done before but the County wants you to understand exactly what we're experiencing and what they plan to do to resolve it. So leave your comments or questions and watch what happens.
In closing I want you to know that County Executive Bob Culver has been with the Roads Division Crew since the first night of snow fall. In fact he not only rode with the crews all night, without any sleep he went to the Civic Center very early the next morning to help resolve the break in the pipe there and worked with them throughout the day. NO ONE fell asleep at the wheel. So whatever anyone else is telling you, it's not true. Ask your question and you'll receive answers. There's nothing to hide or be ashamed of.