Snow Angel No. 7: The Anniston Public Works Department
by Patrick McCreless
Feb 02, 2014 | 2956 views |  0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jimmy Duncan, Roger Hammock, Josh Brown, Paul Young and Cody Warnock. (Anniston Star photo by Bill Wilson)
Jimmy Duncan, Roger Hammock, Josh Brown, Paul Young and Cody Warnock. (Anniston Star photo by Bill Wilson)
When Anniston residents awoke Wednesday, they found several formerly iced streets sanded and somewhat usable. But no fancy trucks or equipment had been used to accomplish the feat.

It took just 30 men, shovels and plenty of determination.

While many Anniston residents were asleep in their homes Tuesday evening, city public works department employees were on foot, hand-shoveling sand to try to provide traction on several major roadways.

Bob Dean, director of the Public Works Department, said most of his workers were up 56 hours straight between Tuesday and Thursday, taking only short naps in between fighting the snowstorm.

"Some of them haven't even been home yet," Dean said Thursday afternoon. "We had some guys who really stepped up."

After the snow hit Tuesday morning, roads throughout Anniston became unusable. Many motorists abandoned their vehicles while others wrecked, causing major traffic jams and impeding workers’ ability to improve the roadways during the day Tuesday, Dean said. But the employees worked through the night to ensure roads such as Quintard Avenue were sanded, he said.

"And we assisted with some accidents where first responders had trouble getting there by putting out sand," Dean said.

Mayor Vaughn Stewart said the Public Works employees went beyond the call of duty during the crisis.

"As you can imagine, as a Southern city, we're not going to have the fleet of snow plows and vehicles," Stewart said. "The public works crew took it upon themselves ... working through the night ... sacrificing what they could have been doing for their families."

Stewart added that some Public Works employees assisted the Police and Fire departments in transporting students from their schools to their homes.

"Because of those efforts, no Anniston students had to spend the night at school," Stewart said.

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