By Amanda Moss
February 13, 2014
ROCKINGHAM —The continuous snow and ice hasn’t kept city officials and workers off the streets as they continue to try and keep the roads clear.
Members of the 1132nd Military Police Company, out of Rocky Mount with the N.C. National Guard, have been assisting the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office since Wednesday in transporting people around the county, said Sheriff James Clemmons Jr.
“They’re especially helping with getting doctors and patients to where they need to be as well as getting people to the shelter at the high school,” Clemmons said.
“We’ve been helping ambulances, stranded motorists and transporting essential personnel,” one soldier said.
Vanderhoof said there were six other National Guard teams working in Richmond County in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Office.
The city of Rockingham also was working in the downtown area outside of Rockingham Police Department.
City worker Joe Miles was driving a grader to clear the sidewalk and parking lot around the police department.
“We’ve been working all over the city (Rockingham),” said Corey McLaughlin. “We’ve got people from all over the county working to help get things clear.”
McLaughlin said that once getting the roads and sidewalks cleared, they would add salt to help prevent additional ice-buildup.
Joe Everett, of Superior Cranes, was doing his part in trying to clear things up. Everett, along with J.C. Everett and Rooster McIntyre, were scrapping sidewalks and driveways clear around the banks in downtown Rockingham. They were planning to head towards Ellerbe once they finished their work in Rockingham.
All the efforts made by these groups helped clear the way for individuals to walk to and from Food King in downtown Rockingham, though there was still work to be done on the sidewalks.
Gabriela Crosby was walking down the middle of West Franklin Street in front of Ethel’s Flower Shop in downtown Rockingham with groceries because the road was the only spot without snow or ice.
Al Dowdy could barely see walking down East Washington Street in-front of Discovery Place KIDS as he made his way to Food King to pick up cigarettes.
Crosby and Dowdy were not the only residents to risk going out in the weather to venture to the grocery store.
Robert Williams, manager of Food King, said the store had been open since 7 a.m. and as of 2 p.m. 600 customers had come in to buy milk, bread or any other kind of groceries. Williams said the store would try to stay open until 6 p.m.
Clemmons said the county was trying to work together to help keep people safe.
“The North Carolina Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Emergency Management, Rockingham and Hamlet police and city workers have done an excellent job in assisting and coordinating with what is going on,” Clemmons said.
Clemmons also said that Richmond Senior High School principal Keith McKenzie has been working diligently in order to keep the shelter open at the high school. As of now he is still encouraging people to stay in and stay safe.
“I want to thank the residents of Richmond County for adhering to the message to stay in,” Clemmons said. “The situation could have been worse, but thanks to them it hasn’t been as bad as it could have been.”