March 17, 2011

Storm pummels area

Storm pummels area
By STU MERRY

Mother Nature isn’t ready to let winter go just yet. Even though temps are now reaching into the 40s and the sun is shining, she delivered one more punch this past Friday.
The late winter storm began with rain as a low pressure system swept across the state. As temperatures fell, the rain turned to snow. The system was accompanied by winds reported in the Garrison area at near 60 mph.
“It was definitely serious,” said Alan Hathaway, route driver for BHG, Inc. He and his wife Gisella were delivering the Xtra to Underwood and Turtle Lake. A trip from Turtle Lake to Garrison generally takes about 40 minutes. It took the Hathaways over three hours on their return trip to Garrison.
Hathaway said the trip began fine as the two encountered slushy roads in the Underwood and Turtle Lake areas. On their way back, things changed for the worse.
“We knew we were in trouble,” he said. “It was so easy to become disoriented.”
Conditions were such that the two took to opening the doors on their vehicle just to see the pavement. They quickly discovered they were driving on the wrong side of the road. Hathaway said they encountered numerous stranded vehicles – especially on Highway 83.
“You needed to stop, but you didn’t dare stop,” he said.
Finally getting to the Six-Mile Corner, the Hathaways were fortunate to encounter McLean County Deputy Lynette Laswell. She led a number of cars to Garrison. Hathaway said she (Laswell) drove with her head out the window just to see the highway.
Hathaway couldn’t praise the deputy enough for her heroics.
 


The Weather Network