Last week was definitely a whirlwind of activity. Once the process got streamlined we had equipment from contractors on the ground. Hopefully, many people have been able to keep up with the progress through the Washington County Disaster Services Facebook page. Following the Special Meeting of the City Council on Sunday night where the Council established their two priorities and dedicated emergency finances toward the project, the Washington County Commissioners stepped up to move the disaster request to the State level. The City appreciates the cooperation with the County in finding relief for snow removal and building evaluation.
Plans for this week include eliminating the rest of the berms throughout the City. We will have the equipment from ACHD for three days this week. The extra contractors are done for now but the City crews will continue to work on streets and eliminating sight obstructions at the intersections. We hope to partner with ITD on intersections on Hwy 95 as well. Crews will also be working to open storm drains in preparation of melting. A good suggestions was put out this morning that if anyone is wondering where storm drains are near you, if you are a techy, look at Google Earth at you home and area. You also get to see some green grass.
The Electric Department would like to remind residents if hiring someone to clean and remove snow around your property, please be aware that transformers have been marked with flags and red paint. If you have questions call the Electric Department. The City has been blessed with no electric outages at this time but prepare for longer power outages if they occur due to the deep snow in the alleys and access to locations. If using a generator, PLEASE make sure that you follow the National Electrical Safety Code so it does back feed on to the system.
The Fire Chief, Kerry Nyce, put out the following information: “We encourage private citizens and commercial users to dig out or uncover gas meters 1 ft. left and 1 ft. right and 1 ft. in front of the gas meter clear to the ground to insure it is working properly. The gas meter needs to vent occasionally trapping the gas in the snow or back feeding in the structures causing concern. Remember natural gas and propane are heavier than cold air so the smell remains longer. Thank you.”
Thank you to the ladies manning the Disaster hotline. They have done an outstanding job answering questions and connecting people to resources. This along with the Facebook page and Public Information officer, Steve Penner, have been a great help in keeping the public informed. The County Disaster Services have also been coordinating the volunteer groups that have come into the City to do shoveling of roofs and other work. I had the opportunity to talk to some of the group from Christian Disaster Relief Inc.. These gentlemen are volunteers from Calgary to California helping where needed. They indicated they had provided relief to over 400 houses across the valley over the last week and had approximately 160 different workers on and off over that time. There was also a group of 30 volunteers from NNU and the First Church of the Nazarene on Saturday helping clean roofs. I understand there was also a group of workers from the LDS Church that was helping dig people out and clear roofs. In addition, we have many groups and individuals locally that are reaching out to help each other.
If there are people still concerned about roofs, be sure to call the hotline number (414-4274) and ask for help. City building code requires roofs to have a 30# per cubic foot load capacity. It was reported to us last week that the current weight on buildings was from 38# to 39# per cubic foot. Call if you need help, the hotline is going from 10-4 weekdays.