VIDEO: Boyle officials preparing for ice storm; Courthouse, sheriff’s office closed to public
City and county first responders discussed tonight’s predicted icy conditions and what preparations are being made in advance of the storm during the quarterly 911 Advisory Board meeting Wednesday.
Boyle County Emergency Management Director Mike Wilder said according to the National Weather Service meeting he had just attended, “I never heard anything good the whole time. We could get as much as 3/4-inch of ice. It doesn’t look good.”
City engineer Dwayne Campbell told the group that city streets would be salted beginning in the afternoon. But if ice builds up on trees overnight, “It’s going to get real tricky,” he said.
Boyle County Deputy Sheriff said their office “is severely short staffed,” and that “It’s open season on overtime,” if officers are called out to emergencies overnight.
Boyle Sheriff Derek Robbins said he was concerned about people, especially medical personnel, calling his office requesting rides to work if the roads are slick with ice. “It’s probably not going to be an option,” because of COVID-19 and the possibility of infecting the officers who could then spread the virus to their families, he said. It will be best for people going to work to go ahead and make other plans.
Boyle County Fire Chief Donnie Sexton said his department is ready to answer calls no matter the weather, and they have chain saws in the fire trucks to clear the way if fallen trees are in the way to an emergency. “But we’re not a tree service.”
Residents should not call the fire department just to clear limbs out of their driveways, he said.
Danville’s City Manager Earl Coffey said the city’s preparations for any type of weather emergency “are more robust” then they were when the 2009 storm hit. He said the water treatment plant, and the water intake facility at Herrington Lake both have backup generators. “We’re prepared and in good shape,” he said.
Wilder said Centenary United Methodist Church would be on standby to open a warming shelter if necessary. And an emergency operations center will be established in the training room in the basement at city hall.
Wilder said everyone should check on their elderly family members, friends and neighbors, and those who live alone before and after if any storm hits the area.
“This is happening, it’s coming.”
The following offices will be closed on Thursday. More will be added to the list when information is available:
Boyle County Courthouse
Boyle County Sheriff’s Office
Danville City Hall
Boyle County Public Library