Road workers for Gallia, Meigs and Mason counties, and for the Ohio Department of Transportation and West Virginia Division of Highways, were on the go around the clock during the storm and after, spreading salt, cinders and grit so people who had to work could get there. Driving on icy surfaces is no picnic for anyone and even with more powerful and heavy dump trucks leading the clearing effort, there is risk involved and the individuals driving those trucks were serving us, the public. That's a thought we must keep in mind.
We tend not to think about these things on those more moderate winter mornings when a skiff of snow has made travel tricky, but county, ODOT and WVDOH employees are the people ensuring we get to where we want to go. Hopefully, the remaining five weeks of winter will not present further challenges than those posed by the ice storm.
The storm, the worst in the area since February 2003, effectively cut off power to thousands of customers of American Electric Power and Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative in Ohio and AEP customers in West Virginia, some for almost a week. Restoring service became a herculean task because poles and lines in remote areas went down, and sometimes the lines you saw along the roadside weighted down by ice-crusted trees were not the culprits for the loss of service in your area.
The restoration effort drew linemen from not only the region but from out of state. Their work is dangerous too, especially in the harsh conditions brought on by the storm. The fact you have power now, and our ability to write this piece, is directly attributable to their work and of all utility employees, even down to the community relations staff providing news organizations with updates on when power was projected to return.
To everyone who labored to return life to normal after the storm — our thanks and appreciation.