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Wind makes rural roads dangerous, tough to plow

December 21, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

While those living in towns in the area had plenty to deal with Thursday, the rural areas were hit even harder during the massive snowfall due to heavy winds.

Marshall County Engineer Paul Geilenfeldt said the wind led to low visibility for his plow truck drivers.

"The biggest battle is the wind," Geilenfeldt said. "We can't see what we're doing out there."

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Road crews were out in full force Thursday, challenged by whiteout conditions and drifting snow.

While progress was made on the paved county roads, the gravel roads were hard to clear Thursday.

"We didn't make a lot of progress on anything but pavement," Geilenfeldt said. "I just feel like we are treading water out there."

Geilenfeldt said they had a couple of plows get stuck as they tried to maneuver around cars that were also stuck. The wet, heavy snow also made for some dangerous drifts in this storm.

"Instead of us pushing them, they can push our equipment off the road," Geilenfeldt said.

He admitted this storm is the worst we've had in recent years.

"I haven't seen it like this in quite a while," he said.

Marshall County Supervisors Chairman Denny Grabenbauer said they decided to close the courthouse for Thursday at 5:30 a.m.

"They key is safety," Grabenbauer said. "We wanted to keep people off of the streets."



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