December 24, 2014 Edition

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WR prepares for snowy weather

Jody Matthews (from left), Shannon Fisher and Bryson Long with the Walnut Ridge Street Department and Mayor Don House look over the snowplow that has been attached to a recently purchased Humvee. Alongside the snowplow, the street department will use a skid steer, a spreader and a dump truck (seen in back) to clear snow-covered roads during the winter months.
TD Photo ~ Megan Heyl

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

Walnut Ridge has acquired several pieces of equipment to aid in clearing roads during winter weather.

Mayor Don House said an effort has been made throughout the year to better prepare the street department for future snowfall.

The city has purchase a government-owned dump truck, a near new spreader and a Humvee that the city has rigged with a snowplow that had been stored in a warehouse at the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport. This equipment along with the skid steer the city already owned will be used to clear well-traveled roads.

House said that the equipment purchased throughout the year has cost the city less than $5,000.

Shannon Fisher with the street department said the plow will be used to clear the bulk of the snow. The skid steer can then be used to clear around driveways and mailboxes. The spreader will follow with a salt/sand mixture to cover the cleared roads and the dump truck will carry additional salt and sand to refill the spreader.

"What needs to be remembered is the plow will mainly be used on the highest traveled roads," House said. He added that the skid steer will be used to clear driveways that become blocked due to the snowplow but it will take time.

"It will have to be a cooperative effort between the city and the residents," House said. "The public will have to be patient with the street department."

While the city is better equipped, House said it will take a little time to get all the kinks worked out. "I'm sure it will be a learning curve, but we're ready."

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