BEND AREA — While the predictions of the amount of snow that Winter Storm Jonas is forecasted to dump on Mason County varies between 4 to 14 inches, the Bend Area is prepped and ready “just in case.”
In Mason, Mayor Donna Dennis said she has collaborated with Supervisor Steve Myers to set up the town’s plan. The mayor said workers will be treating the roads with calcium chloride, and employees will be working overtime throughout the weekend if necessary.
The town only has one snow plow that attaches to a pickup truck, and Dennis said it was experiencing mechanical failure Thursday morning. She added a mechanic was working on the plow and if it isn’t fixed prior to the snowfall, a plan to borrow a plow from the Town of Hartford has already been agreed upon.
If the power goes out for an extended period, the mayor said the town hall, which has a generator, will be opened as a warming station. Anyone with oxygen is encouraged to take advantage of the station, as well as those wanting to warm up or charge cell phones or other devices.
The Mason fire station will also be set up as a warming station if the need arises, according to Angelique Juelfs-Johnson, fire department auxiliary president. She said the fire station cannot be authorized as a shelter due to lack of beds and showers.
Juelfs-Johnson’s husband, Robert Johnson, serves as fire chief. She said the department is ready for the impending storm and will man the station around the clock if the storm is severe. Auxiliary members are on standby to go in and make food for the firefighters if they are called out.
New Haven Mayor Charles Yonker said his town is also ready for Jonas.
Yonker said the snowstorm plan was recently reviewed, with all trucks checked out and ready to go. He stated New Haven has two trucks with snow plows, and two additional trucks filled with de-icing materials. The mayor said work was recently done on one of the spreaders that ejects the de-icer, but was completed last week.
Although there is no generator at the city hall, Yonker said the water plant is equipped with generators to maintain the town’s water supply.
Greg Kaylor, public information officer with the New Haven Volunteer Fire Department, said recently that his department will also be out as needed if the area is hit with heavy snow.
In Hartford, Mayor Gordon Spencer said town workers have been ready for the storm since Wednesday. He stated the snow blade is on the truck, and sand, which is used to treat streets, has been loaded. Employees will be working overtime only if needed, he added.
Spencer said in past snowstorms, town officials and workers have even been known to go out and get items for town residents such as water, kerosene for heaters, or gasoline for generators.
“In the Bend Area, it’s a neighbor helping neighbor thing,” the mayor said.
Spencer said it is the same between the towns of New Haven, Hartford and Mason. He said Hartford stands ready to share its plow with Mason if needed. The mayor added his town has borrowed generators, backhoes and other items from the nearby municipalities and has loaned items, as well.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.