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Patton Street was still slick on Thursday
Photo courtesy of Brandy Smith

Snow storm "eye opening" event

By Michael Butler

Winter Storm Inga left its mark on Tallassee last week with snow and ice. Many residents reported more than three inches of the white stuff.

Temperatures dropped into the teens early Wednesday morning and failed to rise above freezing during the day leaving ice over most highways.

There were several accidents on Wednesday and Thursday due to slippery roads. The Alabama Department of Transportation issued advisories along with emergency management agencies and police deparments, urging citizens to stay home.

Tallassee mayor Johnny Hammock said that 22 calls were made to the Tallassee Police Department for motorists needing assistance.

"Not one was for an emergency, like a person going to the hospital," Hammock pointed out. "I call them 'lookey-loos.' You put yourself in danger, and you put our first responders at risk.

"Last year, everybody got on Facebook and made fun of us, calling it the snow apocolypse. 'I got enough bread and milk to last me forever. I would rather be over-prepared than under-prepared. This time we put out all the sand we had. We tried to take care of the hill going up to the hospital. We don't sand the bridge. That's ALDOT's bridge."

Mason Achord's first look outside on Wednesday morning
Photo by Angie Achord

One of the most dangerous spots in Tallassee was along Highway 229 near Southside Middle School, where more than a handful of cars slid off the road on Wednesday morning. Several more could not climb the steep grade as well.

"Highway 14 and 229 technically belongs to the state, but we did go out and sand by Southside," Hammock added. "We use our best judgment. The state and county have a lot more to deal with than we do.

"The hospital is our main focus. There was an area by Walmart that was giving us trouble. East Patton by the old Walmart, people were telling me to barricade that off. I can't do that. It's right in the middle of town, but not of that's in the city limits. That is county. I can not block off a road that I don't have control over. Even though it's police jurisdiction. We have to help the people. A lot of people got stuck there."

Hammock talked about some of the calls he's fielding during what has been a unique set of circumstances.

"It's been an eye-opening experience being a city worker, the lumps you take. People will bash you and the police department. They're out there risking their lives. They bash me. I got a lady that called and cussed me out because I wouldn't put a curfew on the city and wouldn't tell Jack's to close because her son was up there. That's a private business. I have no authority."

Shot courtesy of David Lawrence

Tallassee City Schools closed its doors for three days. Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency declaration.

"Schools can apply for a waiver and don't have to make up those days," Tallassee City Schools superintendent Wade Shipman stated. "It's made making weather calls much easier."

It was the most significant amount of snowfall in Tallassee in several years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association keeps archived records of snow totals. For Montgomery, NOAA lists the highest snowfall totals by year.





















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