Winter storm preparedness was evident

Feb 14, 2014

That one of the biggest snowstorms to hit the area in years came and went with hardly a hitch speaks highly about preparedness.

Luckily, the storm that dumped up to a foot of snow in many areas of the county was predicted well in advance, and it arrived later than was expected, which meant many people were safely home by the time the worst of it hit.

Because the storm was statewide, there was plenty of publicity advising people to stay off the roads, and the state declaration prompted Haywood County and the municipalities to close down nonemergency services.

Even on Thursday well after the snow had stopped, there more more closed businesses than open ones, which likely kept people at home as well.

Widespread power outages were expected, too, because the snow was heavy and wet but that didn’t happen, either. Ken Thomas with Haywood Electric Membership Corporation attributed tree-trimming efforts last year with averting problems.

Municipalities had their public works crews working through the night to keep streets cleared, and law enforcement agencies were out in force to help in emergencies that arose.

The county even opened the emergency shelter to help stranded motorists or those without a warm place to stay, but luckily, most emergencies were avoided and only one person needed the help.

All in Haywood County deserve a pat on the back for getting through a major storm with so few problems. Residents are to be commended for having the good sense to stay off the roads so road crews could clear snow and not be sidetracked by stuck cars.

Emergency and law enforcement workers are to be commended for, as always, serving in a career that puts the safety of others first and those providing essential services such as power, and get high marks for thinking prevention, which helped those stuck at home remain warm and comfortable.