Local Farmers & Citizens Lend A Helping Hand After Huge Snow Storm
By Echo Menges
Northeast Missouri got so much snow Tuesday and Wednesday, February 1 and 2 it took many locals several days just to dig out. Good neighbors and community members assisted many people while road crews struggled to clear the massive amount of snow.
Knox County Western District Commissioner, Terry Marble, said Friday, February 4, “We’re maybe a third to half of the way done clearing the county roads. There are drifts that are four and five feet deep. We usually can get them wiped out in two or three days, but it’s so deep it’s tough to get through.”
Knox County has five road graders with plows attached and two backhoes to clear all the county roads manned by nine or ten county employees who have to cover nearly 500 square miles.
After the storm the county was plagued by common snow clearing problems like equipment getting stuck plus one of the counties road graders broke down and had to be shipped to Hannibal for repairs. County crews worked throughout the weekend to try and get all of the county roads clear.
Commissioner Marble said the help of our farmers has been instrumental in clearing their own sections of roads, helping their neighbors dig out, and helping to pull county equipment out when it gets stuck.
“We want our local farmers to know how much we appreciate what they’re doing.” Said Marble.
Here at the Sentinel we’ve heard reports that most of Knox City was cleared by local farmers with their tractors by some very appreciative neighbors. The same holds true for most of the towns in the county.
In Edina, Mike Wreidt, the City Superintendent and his crew began clearing snow when the storm began on Tuesday. With all hands on deck Wreidt said the entire city work crew rose to the challenge to clear Edina’s roads and Alan Ives and Mike Fox, who are part time City of Edina employees, went way above and beyond to help out. They had two trucks, the motor grader, skid loader, and the backhoe out pushing snow.
“We had everything that could push snow, pushing snow. We just did what we had to. We quit about 10:00 p.m. Tuesday night and came back in at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. There were five of us pushing snow for the roads. We worked close to 36 hours before taking a break. We had some places that were over six feet deep. We went out in pairs. Some of the equipment got stuck but with two we were able to just pull each other out and keep going. Plus with the help of the many good Samaritans around town almost every road in Edina was travelable by 7:00 a.m. Wednesday.” Said Wreidt.
To get ready for the next storm Thursday they began widening the paths on streets and hauling snow from what’s been accumulated along Edina’s snow routes to the old Glove Factory site where property owner, Billy Hunter, was gracious enough to offer up the available space for snow storage.
Wednesday morning the day after the storm the town was bustling with tractors, CATs, farm vehicles, and plow trucks digging out neighbors and helping to clear the streets and
sidewalks. In fact, those kindly neighbors and city, state, and county snowplows were about all there were on the roads that morning.
Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Ryan Bishop said there were no major catastrophes in Knox County during the storm. He attributed the lack of emergencies to the well-advanced warnings of the coming storm and the good judgment of locals who heeded those advisories and stayed home and off the roads during the blizzard.
A trooper from Troop B of The Missouri State Highway Patrol told me Wednesday they kept all hands on deck during and after the storm, mainly assisting stranded motorists and getting them to safety, which meant in some instances, people having to abandon their vehicles on the highways. There were some stranded motorists who had to be rescued by the National Guard in a few cases where MODOT’s equipment was unable to reach them though no one in Knox County had to be rescued by the Guard.
“I know there were a lot of folks out helping and there would be a lot of people still trapped in their homes if so many hadn’t pitched in and helped out.” Said MSHP Troop B Lt. Brian Anderson. “MODOT helped out a lot too. If it weren’t for them blazing the trail we would have not been able to get to a lot of stranded people.”
Just after the storm Store Manager, Rick Winter, said there was a bit of a run on C&R Market in Edina with many stocking up before for the storm. The only thing the store ran out of were eggs on Tuesday, but thanks to the quick clearing of streets in Edina, suppliers were able to get in on Wednesday and restock.
People throughout the county have one more thing in common following last week’s massive snowstorm. It’s the appreciation many have expressed to all of our citizens and farmers who, out of the kindness of their hearts, have come out in droves on their tractors and farm equipment to help their neighbors and assist struggling road crews. One thing we have here in Knox County is plenty of tractors and plenty of good people willing to help others.
To those who were out helping and working hard to clear snow from all over Knox County (you know who you are): From the entire staff here at The Edina Sentinel, THANK YOU!