Wells Hallmark
Petersburg Press

Petersburg digs out from Christmas blizzard

Children play in a snow pile near Boone Central Middle School.Cleanup work continued early this week throughout Boone County after the worst blizzard in more than 25 years struck the area Wednesday through Saturday, Dec. 23-26.

The storm deposited an estimated 14 to 16 inches of snow during the four days, with near white-out conditions from Thursday afternoon through early Saturday morning. Wind gusts of 35 to 45 miles per hour accompanied the storm.

The blizzard began with freezing rain changing to snow by Wednesday evening.

Most of the Petersburg area retained electric power, however, the Closter area and some residents northwest of town were without power, some as long as two days.

According to Boone County Commissioner Hank Thieman, road crews went out Friday, Christmas Day in the afternoon, but were pulled back in due to the extremely high winds. With the winds continuing to blow, no crews were again sent out until Sunday when they worked from 7 a.m to 7 p.m.. Thieman reported by Monday evening, most rural residents had at least one road clear leading to a highway. Since the crews were working non stop, fuel was being hauled to the machines.

The drifts in some areas were approximately 12 to 15 feet tall. Crews reported working for three hours to open one drift. Thieman explained opening the roads was a little different because generally a snowplow can just go down the road opening the whole road nonstop, but this storm was different. Many areas of the road would be completely clear and then you would run into one of these huge drifts. He also said the drifts were many times in areas that don’t normally drift. There is also ice under the snow, complicating removal.

Petersburg Village

Petersburg Street Supervisor Doug Koch stated he began moving snow about 8 p.m. Saturday morning clearing all day and continued all day Sunday. By Monday, most streets had snow removed. Koch commented finding a spot to put the snow is getting to be a problem.