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Saturday May 30th, 2015 6:37AM

Hall officials critique response to winter storm, prep for next one

By Ken Stanford Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Hall County officials say they are "very pleased" with the way county departments handled last week's winter storm, calling it "truly a group effort."

"Representatives from most of those departments attended (Wednesday's) debriefing meeting as did members of Hall County's Planning and GIS departments," county spokeswoman Katie Crumley said.

Crumley listed several things the group identified that worked well during the event:

- All calls to the Public Works/Road Maintenance Department were sent directly to the 911 Center, so that a list of affected roadways could be listed in a central location

- Primary roads were pre-treated which helped prevent major icing problems

- Road maintenance crews were able to remain on primary roads, keeping them safe and usable, while other departments concentrated on secondary roads and roadways inside subdivisions

- All employees involved in the severe weather event were communicating over the same radio channel that was strictly reserved for the weather event, providing one pathway for communication throughout all departments

She add "We did identify several areas where our system could be improved as well."

They included:

- Creating an interactive road map online that would allow crews to identify which roadways are affected, which are being worked on and which are safe for travel

- Ordering more roadway signs warning motorists of icy conditions

- Ordering additional tailgate spreaders, which could be attached to four-wheel drive vehicles and used on secondary roads and in subdivisions/neighborhoods

- Sending out messages via our Citizen's Alert System to residents in neighborhoods where the roadways were especially treacherous

Crumley said the group commended the following departments for their response to the storm, which left many roads covered in snow and ice:

Hall County Road Maintenance
Hall County Parks and Leisure
Hall County Marshals Office
Hall County 911
Hall County Sheriff's Office
Hall County Fire Services
Hall County Building Maintenance
Hall County Public Works
Hall County Landfill
Hall County Correctional Institute
Hall County Engineering
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