Sharp Co. departments prepare for possible freezing rain

Sharp Co. departments prepare for possible freezing rain
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - With freezing rain in the forecast for Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, the counties that could be affected the most began preparations Tuesday morning.

In Sharp County, Office of Emergency Management Director Dan Melbourne made sure their Awin radios that are used during emergencies were all working and charged.

He also went to all of their tower sites to test the generators.

"We went up and started them, made sure we had enough propane in the tanks, and did a spot check on them to make sure everything was going to work," Melbourne said.

The main goal of the OEM and the Sharp County Sheriff's Department Tuesday was to make sure they can continue to communicate during the wintry weather.

Sheriff Mark Counts made sure the generator that will run the 911 Dispatch Center was working in case power is lost at the courthouse.

"Everybody relies on dispatch," Counts said. "From the people calling in needing help, whether it be for an ambulance, or fire department, or law enforcement, that's our backbone."

The sheriff reminded people who have to be out Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning that they can contact the dispatch center to find out how road conditions are.

Dan Melbourne is also over the Sharp County Road Department.

He said they have not pretreated the roads since the weather event is expected to start as rain, but he made sure his team is stocked up and ready to hit the roads as soon as it freezes.

"The basics, you know, make sure we got enough salt, enough shovels, and enough hands to get on the ground," Melbourne said. "We brought in all of our graters and made sure everyone had good straight grater blades on them so we can scrape the roads but ice is really hard."

The road crews also have chainsaws and other equipment ready to clear limbs that might break off under the weight of the ice.

Melbourne praised the power companies, though, saying they have done a good job trimming trees back from the power lines, which should help hinder electricity outages.

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