Walker County officials report limited problems
by James Phillips
Jan 12, 2011 | 3728 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A pile of snow sits on the shoulder of Highway 118 near its intersection with Highway 69 North in Jasper Tuesday afternoon. Temperatures are expected to drop to 15 degrees tonight. (Photo by: Daniel Gaddy)
A pile of snow sits on the shoulder of Highway 118 near its intersection with Highway 69 North in Jasper Tuesday afternoon. Temperatures are expected to drop to 15 degrees tonight. (Photo by: Daniel Gaddy)
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Even with almost four inches of snow covering Walker County for two days, officials throughout the county have reported few problems.

Johnny Burnette, director of the Walker County Emergency Management Agency, said his office stayed busy Monday transporting medical personnel around the county. He said EMA workers even made a trip to Baptist Medical Center-Princeton to deliver lab tests.

"We were extremely busy Monday," he said. "Today has been a lot lighter for us. The roads are holding up well, and people are able to travel. That is a good thing."

Burnette said Walker County has seen its share of automobile accidents since the snow started falling.

"We had our first report of an overturned vehicle around 10 Sunday night," he said. "We've had several more since that time, but we've been lucky to not have any serious injuries or fatalities with any of the accidents."

Travel was expected to continue to improve, Burnette said.

"We don't think it will freeze much more," he said. "All the traffic that is on the road today is getting rid of most of the moisture. We should have only minimal freezing from here on out."

Along with EMA and county workers, Burnette said the Army Nation Guard as well as the Alabama Marine Police have been helping out with any issues from the snow and ice.

"We appreciate their help," he said. "The state worked ahead and got us some extra help, and we are happy they were here."

Walker County Sheriff John Mark Tirey said the blanket of snow and ice had frozen crime in the area.

"Our crimes have been down significantly over the last two days," he said. "It's been fairly quiet. I think most folks decided to stay in and just be law-abiding for a few days."

The local EMA shelter was opened for any stranded motorists in the area and a warming center has been open at Maranatha Baptist Church in west Jasper for people without heat in their homes.

The warming center at Maranatha Baptist will remain open each night the temperature drops to below freezing. For more information on the shelter, contact Chris Sherer at 205-387-0511, ext. 5837.

Walker County Red Cross executive director Pam Fikes said her office did not open a shelter.

"Red Cross offices along the major interstates did open shelters Monday, but we are a little off the beaten path and already had two shelters in the area, so we were not directed to open a shelter," she said.

Fikes said the Red Cross office in Jasper was closed Monday, but reopened Tuesday to begin taking Project Share applicants.