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Giant drifts strand drivers

High winds resulted in six- to seven-foot drifts across two Pulaski County roads, leaving several people stranded for about five hours Wednesday.
According to Pulaski Fire Chief Bill Webb, the first call for assistance came in from Mines Road around 12:25 p.m. However, it was 5:38 p.m. before the four stranded vehicles and six to eight motorists were rescued.
“You wouldn’t believe how fast (the snow) would drift in behind your vehicle,” Webb said. He said by the time a motorist realized they couldn’t continue and turned to head back out the road, the drifts had gotten so high they couldn’t leave.
Webb said Virginia Department of Transportation responded to Mines Road with a motor grader and snow blower, but “it was slow going” making it through the sometimes quarter-mile-long drifts. As the equipment made its way along the road, the snow would drift in behind so that it had to dig its way back out to leave.
Besides Mines Road, Webb said Loving Field Road also had problems with vehicles getting stuck in large drifts. He said about four to six people were stranded on that road from about 5:35 to 6:15 p.m.
None of the motorists were injured, according to Webb.
Once everyone was rescued, he said, VDOT closed down the roads and continued to remove drifts throughout the night.
Besides the fire department responding with two pieces of equipment and 17 personnel, Webb said the Pulaski Fire Marshal’s office, the Pulaski County Emergency Management office, VDOT, and possibly some residents of the roads assisted in the effort.
Fire Marshal Chip Hutchinson said roof collapses continue to be a problem and “will be for a while.”
Wednesday, he noted, a carport roof collapsed on a vehicle belonging to Penn Funeral Home. He did not have an estimate for the damage.
Hutchinson said two buildings that collapsed at Gregory Seeding and Landscaping Tuesday were valued at about $185,000.
Webb said his department also responded to an electrical problem at a house on Charles Street Wednesday. He said the house was experiencing intermittent power, so the owner was concerned there was a fire. He said it turned out to be a loose wire on a pole outside the home.

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Giant drifts strand drivers

High winds resulted in six- to seven-foot drifts across two Pulaski County roads, leaving several people stranded for about five hours Wednesday.
According to Pulaski Fire Chief Bill Webb, the first call for assistance came in from Mines Road around 12:25 p.m. However, it was 5:38 p.m. before the four stranded vehicles and six to eight motorists were rescued.
“You wouldn’t believe how fast (the snow) would drift in behind your vehicle,” Webb said. He said by the time a motorist realized they couldn’t continue and turned to head back out the road, the drifts had gotten so high they couldn’t leave.
Webb said Virginia Department of Transportation responded to Mines Road with a motor grader and snow blower, but “it was slow going” making it through the sometimes quarter-mile-long drifts. As the equipment made its way along the road, the snow would drift in behind so that it had to dig its way back out to leave.
Besides Mines Road, Webb said Loving Field Road also had problems with vehicles getting stuck in large drifts. He said about four to six people were stranded on that road from about 5:35 to 6:15 p.m.
None of the motorists were injured, according to Webb.
Once everyone was rescued, he said, VDOT closed down the roads and continued to remove drifts throughout the night.
Besides the fire department responding with two pieces of equipment and 17 personnel, Webb said the Pulaski Fire Marshal’s office, the Pulaski County Emergency Management office, VDOT, and possibly some residents of the roads assisted in the effort.
Fire Marshal Chip Hutchinson said roof collapses continue to be a problem and “will be for a while.”
Wednesday, he noted, a carport roof collapsed on a vehicle belonging to Penn Funeral Home. He did not have an estimate for the damage.
Hutchinson said two buildings that collapsed at Gregory Seeding and Landscaping Tuesday were valued at about $185,000.
Webb said his department also responded to an electrical problem at a house on Charles Street Wednesday. He said the house was experiencing intermittent power, so the owner was concerned there was a fire. He said it turned out to be a loose wire on a pole outside the home.

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