Roads go unplowed in McHenry County

Submitted Photo This is the road outside of the Dodson’s home northeast of Granville on Tuesday afternoon.

GRANVILLE — Rich Dodson and his wife, Dee, live 11 miles northeast of Granville, and they said that no one has plowed their road since the storm last Thursday night.

“It’s so bad, it’s life threatening. I’m almost 60 and we can’t do what we did when we were twenty. Why should it be like this — that residents can’t get out?”

Dodson’s wife, Dee, had surgery on her knee about six months ago, and he’s concerned that if there’s an emergency, they wouldn’t be able to travel.

“If we go out and get stuck, we’re in trouble. I don’t want to have to take her somewhere and get stuck and have to call rescue,” he said. “My son-in-law parked and had to walk two miles to get to our house.”

On Friday after the storm, Dodson said he called the county and was told that it would take six days before plows got to their road.

“We’re frustrated, and they just don’t care,” he said. “I’m very understanding, and I expect two to three days to get the roads cleaned off after a storm. Not seven.”

According to the McHenry County website, the McHenry County Commissioners oversee the Road Department in the county. County

Commissioner David Medalen of District 3 said that his road has also not been plowed.

“It takes our maintainers on an average five days to get through their route. I’m a county commissioner, and my roads are blocked too. I can’t get out. I haven’t been able to get out since Friday. I haven’t gotten mail since Thursday,” Medalen said. “I’m not complaining. They’re working.”

Medalen said the current plow drivers are only allowed 40 hours a week plus 10 hours of overtime, and county roads take priority over township roads. The Dodson’s don’t live on a county road.

“We gotta do our county roads first. Sometimes townships get neglected because they have to go on the county road they were on the day before (because of drifting). I know people are demanding more. We can’t be on everybody’s roads at the same time,” Medalen said. “They’re not getting special treatment.”

High winds, like those yesterday, cause drifting and decrease visibility, and Medalen said that prevents plows from going out.

“I think the blade would have been there by (Tuesday), but we have zero visibility. We couldn’t let the blades run (Tuesday). They will be out there (Wednesday) if it’s not drifting.”

Medalen said that that McHenry County has eight plows, 10 full-time plow drivers, and two part-timers.

“We’re looking for more [relief drivers], but people don’t want to work,” he said.

The only open employment position listed on the McHenry County website, as of Tuesday night, was tax director. McHenry County can hire private contractors to remove snow, but Medalen said that’s often too expensive and a last resort.

“Screaming and hollering gets too bad, we gotta get private contractors,” he said. “We don’t do it unless we absolutely have to. In my 11 years that I’ve been commissioner, it’s been used twice.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today