Two back-to-back winter storms tested the resolve of DeSoto County authorities and the patience of motorists and residents alike this past week, but no winter-related fatalities nor major damage was reported.
Costs were also kept in check but supplies will have to be restocked following an ice storm this past Friday and a bitter cold front that dumped up to three inches of snow in some places Monday.
"The first ice event was the worst for us," said DeSoto County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Macon More on Wednesday, adding that deputies were kept busy attending to numerous wrecks and accidents across the county. "People did a better job the next time with the second storm. People stayed off the roads and we didn't have near as many accidents."
DeSoto County Road Manager Andy Swims said a good deal of planning went into preparation for the two weather-related events.
"These two events were pretty critical," Swims said. "We were blessed this time that we didn't have to get out the chainsaws that we have recently invested in. On Friday, the winds were supposed to be high and we would have had downed power lines, but that didn't happen."
Swims said it was actually fortunate that the two storms happened in close proximity to each other.
"This was a good thing, believe it or not, that we had put down aggregate on Friday because it was still on the road when we had this second storm," Swims said. "We had probably 90 percent of our road department put in about four to six hours of overtime on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, we probably put in an eight-hour day. On Sunday, we were busy with several call-outs. We went through a lot of material. We keep pallets of salt and sand on hand. Everybody had snow plows which we put on the front of tractors."
Swims said it's too early to determine the cost of these two winter storms but county officials will now have to restock supplies.
"These two were pretty typical from what we've seen in the last few years," Swims said. "We'll restock our supplies so we'll be ready for the next one."
Swims said although ice remains on some of the rural roads due to shade and tree cover, most of the ice will have melted away by late today or Friday when warmer temperatures are expected to prevail.
"Mother Nature and the sun will take care of it," Swims said.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at email@example.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.