CLINTON — Clinton emergency officials say that citizens showing caution Monday helped prevent accidents. No major accidents were seen in the city or the county. Clinton Police Capt. Bill Greenwalt saw some vehicles left along the roads, but not too many stranded vehicles and motorists. He estimated that many of the broken-down vehicles were commercial vehicles with frozen gas lines and similar problems. With the Clinton School District canceling, student resource officers were utilized to “aggressively” monitor roadways. More officers were used so that no one had to stay outside too long.
Clinton County Sheriff Rick Lincoln also saw no major accidents due to the weather and road conditions. His deputies did report some vehicles going into ditches Sunday due to reduced visibility from drifting snow. A vehicle was stuck Sunday on 245th Street.
Overall, Lincoln said people have been lucky. Lincoln and Greenwalt both credited this to people taking precautions.
“We’ve been well warned and I think people have stayed in unless they absolutely need to come out,” Lincoln said.
With winter just beginning, Lincoln warned people to be careful and exercise good winter-driving precautions. He said drivers need to be aware that at any point they could come over a hill to find ice or a snow drift, and drive slowly. People are also told to be prepared for the possibility of car trouble by wearing warm clothing and putting some emergency items in their car. Lincoln recommended having a blanket, small shovel, a candle and matches, kitty litter or salt and bottled water. For Lincoln, one of the most important things in a winter storm is knowing when to venture out and when to stay home. He remembers having to rescue people who made it home from work, only to go back out to “check on” the road conditions.
“If you don’t need to go somewhere, don’t go,”Lincoln said.
However, if people must drive in this cold weather, Greenwalt reminds them to bring along their cellphones. He added that in these current conditions, exposed skin can become frostbit within less than 10 minutes. So, he does not want to see people getting out of their car in the case of a break down.
“We don’t want people to walk a couple of miles,” Greenwalt said. “Stay in the car, stay warm and call us.”