Winter storm uses substantial city resources


Photo by Steven Pepper

Despite the slush and aggravation, the snow was fun while it lasted, as seen in this snow-football game among Miami students in front of Millett Hall during last week’s storm. But the snow is mostly gone now, with no more predicted in the immediate future.

By Kenn Jones

Winter Storm Landon brought on icy roads, snowbanks and slush that carried on from Thursday Feb. 3 into this week. While the streets are cleared and the winter storm advisory long since canceled, the cost of the storm was significant. 

According to Oxford Director of Public Services Mike Dreisbach, 340 hours of overtime were logged by city officials, costing about $14,400.

“We used significant resources in managing this winter storm. The duration of the storm, along with substantial freezing rain and sleet prior to changing to snow, required a lot of labor and materials to keep streets open,” said Dreisbach.

It took 300 tons of road salt to clear Oxford’s streets after last weeks snowstorm. Photo by Kelsey Norris

The road conditions were precarious, but no traffic accidents were reported during the time of the storm, lasting from Feb. 3 to late Feb. 4.

While no serious incidents or injuries were reported, the police department did mention instances of reckless activities, such as people being pulled around town on sleds by cars. While no injuries occurred due to this, the department warned about these activities going awry.

During the storm, the Talawanda School District had opened its building for use as emergency shelters in case of power outages. With only a short power outage, lasting one hour according to Assistant City Manager, Jessica Greene, these facilities were not necessary. 

A total of 300 tons of road salt was used, in addition to one ton of calcium chloride. 620 gallons of diesel fuel and 580 gallons of gasoline were used to fuel the trucks, plows, and cars utilized to clear the icy roads.

“While we used significant resources, we are still well positioned to manage future storms,” said Dreisbach. According to him, the city’s road salt supply remains above 50% capacity. 

The Oxford Family Resource Center (FRC) offered extra rooms during the winter storm as part of its cold shelter program. The center rents six rooms in a local motel from November to February for those who need short term shelter from the cold. 

These six rooms have remained at capacity since late November. FRC worked with Butler County homeless shelters to provide for other people who needed shelter during this time, according to FRC Executive Director Brad Hoblitzell.