Scott spots a trail of stranded cars from his tractor.
Photos by John Scott
By Tara Lindquist
Travel was all but impossible throughout the area last Thursday evening and all day on Friday. Total snow fall amounts varied throughout the area anywhere from eight to ten inches and wind gusts reached 55 miles per hour, the combination made it the perfect storm to wreak havoc for motorists and law enforcement.
Sheriff Jim Jensen wasn't sure exactly how many cars were reported to be in the ditch or stuck in the middle of roads during the storm, he knows it was well above forty vehicles. "Calls were coming in so fast, we couldn't keep up with them," he explained. Dodge County Deputies worked throughout the night Thursday night, rescuing stranded motorists that were in the ditch or stuck in the middle of roadways. Hayfield Fire Department was also dispatched out to help motorists on County Road 3, law enforcement could not get to them because of the large snow drifts on the road. Field Crest Care Center in Hayfield, opened their doors as an emergency shelter to stranded motorists for the night and had one person stay there. Dodge Center Fire Hall had seven motorists seek out shelter during the night.
Kasson Car Care said calls for tows started coming in at 8 a.m. Thursday morning and did not end until Saturday morning. "We started at about 8 on Thursday morning and we did not stop until 10:30 Friday night," said Bryan Bublitz co-owner of Kasson Car Care. "When we added up all the tow tickets we had 64 total." Blublitz also said that number of vehicles does not reflect the cars that they were able to push or shovel out.
There were sixteen cars that were abandoned in the ditch or the roads and were towed back to their business, the rest of the vehicles there were able to pull out of the ditch or push off to the side of the road. "Everyone that came to retrieve their vehicle after it was towed here was so grateful for having their vehicle taken care of," He said. "We didn't get one complaint for towing the vehicles back to the lot. A few have brought us in cookies even to thank us."
Not even the tow truck drivers were immune to going in the ditch or getting stuck Thursday night "I had to be towed out of the ditch twice and shoveled myself out three times. Tony also needed to be pulled out once."
Read the rest of the story in the Star Herald print edition.