Ward County commissioners declared a snow emergency today.
The declaration gives the highway department access to emergency funds if they’re needed.
As of now, those funds remain untouched.
Ward County is hiring additional contractors to help with snow removal and if the the rest of winter continues as it has been, it’s crucial that the highway department has that access to emergency funding.
Dana Larsen/Ward County Engineer: “We got through pretty much most of the county roads but because of the wind they were pretty much all drifted back in again.”
(Becky Farr, KX News) The first two blizzards of the season quickly filled up county roads and all of their surroundings.
Amanda Schooling/Director of Emergency Management, Ward County: “With North Dakota winds, everything kind of blows back in.”
By the third blizzard, Ward County established a snow emergency declaration.
Schooling: “It means that they will open up the emergency funds so that the highway department can utilize them if they need to. If their funding runs short, they can just dip into these funds to help them out.”
Larsen: “We have a lot of miles of roads that have banks higher than the road and until we can get that done, every time it blows, it’s going to fill in, so we’re trying to take care of that.”
At this point, there’s so much roadside snow piled up that the highway department has to push snow banks back onto the roads in order to blow the snow completely out of the way.
Larsen: “Once the initial snow event or storm is done, if it doesn’t blow, we can make a lot of progress. But, because it blows every day, the drifting shows up on the road and it just keeps getting deeper and deeper until we can get this snow pushed back.”