Snow belts Baldwin
As huge snowflakes fell Tuesday morning, everyone became believers in yet another strongly forecast winter storm. But, when all was said and done, the four to six inches of snow didn't cause many problems and didn't even close schools.
Although Baldwin City crews didn't actually start moving the snow off roads until around 7 p.m. Tuesday, early treatments kept roads passable and waiting out the storm proved beneficial.
"We anticipated the snow coming and we had the sand and ice mixture out ahead of it," said City Administrator Jeff Dingman. "I thought it worked out well.
"Sure, it's always a process," Dingman said of the snow-removal plan. "They started at 7 to wait through the traffic. The snow had stopped, too. A lot of folks wondered why they couldn't have started at 2 (p.m.), but there would have been traffic and they would have had to do it again, plus it snowed more."
The height of the storm was at that 2 p.m. time. James White, Baldwin School District superintendent, said it gave administrators pause to at least think about closing schools down.
"It was snowing pretty hard then," said White. "We were even wrestling with the decision about letting school out early then. But, as late as it was and by the time we got word around, it wouldn't have made much difference.
"We decided to stay in session and I think it was a good decision," he said.
That was harder than making the decision Wednesday morning that school would go on as scheduled.
"That (decision) wasn't hard," said White. "I was out driving early in the morning and the country roads weren't too bad. There had been some grader work. The city streets were good.
"If we possibly can, if it's not a safety issue, we want to have school," he said. "It's a real scramble for parents to make last-minute plans involving their children."
As for the city's plan for snow removal, the later start was on purpose to avoid traffic and parked cars downtown. Crews were at it all night, too.
"We sent them home early Tuesday so they could be rested up for the night," said Dingman. "It worked out well."
While downtown is always a focus of the crews, it's not the only area.
"We concentrate on the residential collections streets, such as Sixth, Eighth and High," he said. "The north-south streets are heavier traveled than the east-west streets. They keep it in a sequence so they don't double up efforts."
But, what helps most in clearing streets, he said, is the sunshine Baldwin saw Wednesday morning.