Hannibal working to minimize snowstorm’s impact


HANNIBAL, Mo. — Winterstorm Landon is bringing snow and ice to the Tri-State area and road crews are working hard to clear the streets and highways. But those people driving the snow plows are not the only ones working to keep modern life moving.

Hannibal Board of Public Works General Superintendent Darrin Gordon says the HBPW has an emergency response plan. Gordon says HBPW supervisors, staff and administrative supervisors reviewed that plan, “so we all know our part.” Equipment is all fueled and mechanically working and employees have been encouraged to make sure everything is ready at home in case they get called in, “so home is safe, families are safe, so they can come in to work.” 

Hopefully the community will not suffer much damage from the storm, but Gordon says if it does, the HBPW is ready and is able to call on help from other municipalities if things are too bad. Several Hannibal linemen are also ready to travel to other communities if they are needed to assist.

Police and firefighters are also prepared for the added stress of a winter storm. Police Chief Lyndel Davis says the first thing his department does is to make sure officers stay away from areas where they are likely to get stuck unless they are responding to a call. Now that all department vehicles are all-wheel drive, that is not as big an issue as it has been in the past. If the weather gets bad enough that it is difficult for department vehicles to get around, HPD could go to an emergency only call, “because if you start compromising your emergency vehicles for minor calls, then they won’t be there when you really need them.” 

Of course, the best thing people can do is just stay off the road. Both Chief Davis and Fire Chief Ryan Neisen agree that keeping off the roadways is important, but if you are out driving and are involved in an accident, stay with your vehicle and keep warm. Neisen says, “a lot of times getting out of your vehicle can cause a bigger issue. Neisen says to give emergency responders time to get to you. It is especially important to stay in your vehicle if it has hit a utility pole. You do not know if there is a live power line on the ground. Neisen says to let emergency responders know if you have hit a utility pole or other utility so they know in advance what to watch out for.

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