By Stephen Ingber Staff Reporter
DeWitt Township—Having a winter back this year maybe exciting for some but not for all of Dewitt Township residents. With storms shutting down area schools twice in the last month the roads are a large concern for most area residents.
According to records from The Weather Channel the area of DeWitt has received around 10 in. of snow in the last month almost tripling what the area received last winter.
The Clinton County Road Commission is responsible for keeping the roadways of Dewitt Township clear. After speaking with Jeff Brown, equipment supervisor, he said “ we are having to keep our staff on overtime due to the increase in snowfall this season.”
Once a storm hits trucks are immediately dispatched to cover a network of hundreds of miles of road Brown said. Sometimes these workers have been on the road for 12-hour shifts or longer depending on the severity of snowfall. Also due to extreme temperature shifts Brown said that keep on top of the ice on road surfaces has been more off an issue than last year.
At the last board meeting for the commission on Jan. 13 of this year, commissioner Sisung commented that he was surprised to see salt trucks out on a Sunday.
The county works along with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), which provides them equipment allowances, and the budget to continue operations to clear the roads during winter conditions.
Parents are concerned that school buses that operate on these roads are not well equipped to handle such winter road conditions like ice and snow on road surfaces.
In DeWitt this year there has been two snow days due to the increase in snowfall this year. After contacting the DeWitt Public School Superintendents Office there has been now return phone call concerning the schools policy on snow days.
Bob Evans Restaurant located on Old US-27 in Dewitt serves a lot of the locals of the community serving everything from breakfast to dinner. Speaking with the manager Jessica Knozski she is concerned for her elderly customers.
After managing at different Bob Evan’s franchises she loves her customers here the most due to their frequency and friendliness. Knozski noted due to the small town nature that most customers know each other.
She has seen business slow down considerably due to road conditions as of late. Since most of her customers are retired she is concerned about them driving on road that can be so icy.
“Old US-27 can be so dangerous some mornings due to the ice,” says Knozski. Not having her usual customers in the morning can make a good dent to the business. The coffee and senior breakfast tabs add up real fast.
Speaking with couples in the restaurant they had many positive comments about the community but they too were also concerned about road conditions this time of year.
According to AAA drivers this time of year are recommended to check their tire tread and make sure their properly inflated.