By Rodney Hays
Technically it was Winter Storm Cleon and not Icepocalypse 2013, but whatever it was dropped several inches of freezing rain last Friday coating area roads and yards. The icy conditions caused PISD schools and many area businesses to close and residents stuck inside their homes.
While PISD students and staff had a couple of days off, the Prosper Police Department did not enjoy some time away from work. Police personnel responded to 29 different calls to assist stranded motorists, who slid off the road. There were also three traffic accident to deal with, two traffic hazards (including Coit Road, which was in extremely poor condition, according to Marty Nevill of the Prosper Police Department) and five utility calls, shutting off water supplies to houses because of water leaks or frozen pipes.
The bad weather gave many residents the opportunity to help our neighbors. Prosper fire chief Ronnie Tucker and assistant chief Stuar Blasingame were out helping the police department and citizens by pulling out vehicles from ditches.
They also helped coordinate with dispatch and streets the areas that needed to be sanded. Blasingame used his own four-wheel drive vehicle to pick up dispatchers from their homes and bring them back.
Assistant police chief Gary McHone and his wife and children offered to pick up items from the store for those who couldn’t get out of the neighborhoods, let alone navigate the roads of North Texas.
And Manuel Parga with the Town of Prosper Public Works responded to nonstop calls to sand streets. Even though he kept getting his vehicle stuck while attempting to bring sand to areas, he continued to respond.
Fortunately, Cleon (or Icepocalypse 2013) appears to be moving on and warmer temperatures (although not much) will return to the area. Temperatures are expected to climb into the 50s by Saturday.