Wow! What a week we had last week in our own Winter Wonderland!
While the snow was beautiful to look at, and even play in for some of us, it came with wonder that we had not seen in decades and that left us quite a bit unprepared. While we it was not a “picture perfect” experience, we are grateful that the sun has truly come out and we can manage to move forward.
City Hall was closed the entire week due to road conditions and freezing temperatures. It was in our best interest to make sure our employees and the citizens of the city were safe at home. Although it was not an option for everyone in the city, the precaution was put in place to keep drivers off the streets and roads that were covered in snow. Many did not realize that underneath the snow was a sheet of ice that would be a dangerous hazard for drivers. Our efforts were to ensure safety.
We will have to double up this week with needs that are met through our office. That will consist mostly of occupation and business licenses; but we are open and ready to serve you today!
Last week gave us an opportunity to evaluate our processes and take a close look at how well our citizens are informed. We were not prepared for the weather we received and there was really no way for us to get the information to everyone. The type of machinery or equipment needed to clear streets, roads and paved locations is not something we would have in our city’s inventory. If you take into consideration that the weather was unprecedented, it is equipment we would not need, and it would be too expensive to have “just in case.”
Even with that knowledge, we understand that when the citizens needed mobility, it was not a good explanation to why we could not do more. Our employees did their best to make streets passable. More attention was paid to major streets as a means of priority. There just was not sufficient equipment or manpower.
It did not go unnoticed that many individuals and groups took it upon themselves to make a difference in our communities that would have been stranded. Many with 4WD vehicles went the extra mile to transport others to work and appointments. There was also an ongoing effort of rescue for individuals who go out and ended up stuck in the snow.
We have an enormous amount of “hometown heroes” that braved the weather conditions to assist their family and fellow man! It proved yet again that we come together in the face of adversity!
Although we are attempting to get back to business as usual, there are still some literal roadblocks.
Some communities are struggling with the aftermath of the storm. Roads are just now a bit more manageable and we will have to take it a step at a time. Other situations proved to be damaging with the inclement weather. There were roofs, awnings and carports that failed under the weight of the snow. Many experienced destruction due to busted pipes in homes or buildings and vehicle damage due to road hazards due to the conditions.
We have encountered yet another experience that produced negatives, but we are grateful for the positives. Let us continue to understand that we are all in a position to assist one another. We are all in all of this together! Moving forward is much easier when we move together!
Veronica Smith-Creer is the Mayor of El Dorado. She can be reached at [email protected]