Officials congratulate workers for efforts in clearing up snow, ice

Published 12:17 pm Thursday, January 18, 2018

GREATER VALLEY AREA — The three local mayors, Steve Tramell of West Point, Kyle McCoy of Lanett and Leonard Riley of Valley, were highly complimentary of their street departments for their efforts in making the roads as passable as they could be early Wednesday morning. They are also appreciative that most local residents remained at home and did not get out on city streets during the early morning hours.

“The Street Department was out in the early morning hours putting sand on the bridges,” said Tramell. “They did great work under difficult circumstances.”

While they were out there working, the weather was frigid, with a brisk north wind accentuating the chill. Much more snow was falling than anticipated. The counties of Macon, Tallapoosa, Lee and Chambers in Alabama and Troup, Harris and Meriwether in Georgia each had more than three inches of snow. The counties bordering them got a little more than one inch.

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Tramell said street department workers were out again in the late-night hours on Wednesday, checking for iced-over conditions on the city streets. West Point City Hall was closed until 1 p.m. today.

Tramell said he was surprised that the local area got as much snow as it did. He said he had to make a trip to LaGrange on Wednesday and found road conditions on  I-85 to be dangerous.

“It was not in good shape at all, and they had road graders out there in the afternoon,” he said.

McCoy said city workers were out in the elements at 2 a.m. Wednesday.

“Steve Crawley and his crew did excellent work in taking care of the roads. They put out sand in some locations and salt in others,” he said. “We’re fortunate that most people stayed home Wednesday morning. There weren’t many cars on the streets.”

That was not the case on the interstate. Lanett is responsible for a long stretch of I-85 from the Georgia state line to an area near Exit 70 at Cusseta. There were multiple accidents in this stretch of road, requiring police officers to attend them. Lanett officers working the shift logged long hours. The Valley Police Department had the same problem with the northbound lane.

With temperatures expected to drop below 20 Wednesday night, street department workers were out taking care of vulnerable places early Thursday morning.

“We have concerns with places on First Street, Cherry Drive and Phillips Road,” McCoy said. “It’s good that Lanett City Schools and Springwood canceled classes for Thursday.”

The opening of Lanett City Hall was delayed until the noon hour.

“We also have a situation on N.  11th Ave.,” McCoy said. “A water main going to a Lanett Housing Authority area burst, leaving a lot of water in the street. Hopefully, that can be taken care of soon.”

Two sections of Highway 29 in Valley were closed until around 2 p.m. on Wednesday. These included the stretch of the four-lane from the hospital entrance, over a hill to the junction of Fob James Drive, across from the First Baptist Church of Valley, and the portion road at Johnson’s Curve that goes back toward Valley High.

Riley commended the work done by the Valley Public Works Department.

“They were out last night around 1:30,” he said Wednesday. “The biggest problem we have on winter weather days is to keep the road leading to the hospital open. That road needs to be passable, especially at shift change time [at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.].”

Riley said that both city hall and the Valley Community Center remained closed until noon on Thursday.