Nevada County public Works gears up for winter |

Nevada County public Works gears up for winter

While it seems like autumn only just arrived, Nevada County Public Works is preparing for the slick and dangerous road conditions that accompany a Northern California winter season.

During the winter months, the county is responsible for snow removal along 11 designated snow routes in the western part of Nevada County, according to County Executive Officer Rick Haffey’s weekly memo.

The routes are above the 2,500-foot elevation and typically take a full 12-hour shift to clear during an average snowstorm, Haffey wrote.

When snowstorms hit, main arterial and collector roadways, primary emergency response routes, and school bus routes are prioritized and plowed first.

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study estimated that flu vaccination prevented more than 13 million cases of flu in the U.S. from 2005 to 2011.

When heavy snow storms require repeated work to clear snow on priority roadways, smaller residential streets may not be cleared immediately.

To improve response times in these events, snow removal equipment is stored full time along higher elevation routes, including Washington Road, Scotts Flat, North Bloomfield, Columbia Hill (North San Juan), Cascade Shores and Banner Quaker Hill, the memo states. The remaining equipment is located at the county’s corporation yard on Loma Rica Drive.

When heavy snowstorms impact roads below 2,500-foot elevations, the county deploys additional pickup truck plows and personnel to plow these roadways. These heavy snowstorms result in other emergencies such as road hazards, fallen trees, flooding and traffic control.

During these events, every available employee is tasked with snow removal, and it may take longer to get to smaller residential streets, the memo states.

In the eastern portion of the county, the county maintains annual contracts with four separate snow removal contractors to plow snow on busy county-maintained roadways, including Donner Pass Road, parts of Glenshire Drive and Hirschdale Road, Floriston Road and the Hobart Mills area.

For further information, contact the county’s maintenance yard at 530-477-6849.

Flu season

Winter also brings pestilences like the flu. In recognition, the Nevada County Public Health Department wants to remind everyone that now is a great time to get the flu vaccine.

“Cold and flu season is fast approaching,” the memo states.

The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illness, but they are caused by different viruses.

The flu is generally nastier than a cold with more fever, more body aches, more fatigue and a higher chance of developing pneumonia or needing hospitalization.

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study estimated that flu vaccination prevented more than 13 million cases of flu in the U.S. from 2005 to 2011.

Vaccination also prevented more than 100,000 hospitalizations over that time period, according to the study. Flu vaccination is still the single best way to prevent seasonal flu infection, the memo states.

Other recommended preventative actions include covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, staying home when sick and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at home, work and school. Plus drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

The Nevada County Public Health Department offers flu vaccine clinics throughout the flu season, the memo states.

On Oct. 1., Public Health conducted the first clinic of the season at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building. The event resulted in 119 vaccinations.

For more information about the flu, visit:

For a list of Nevada County Public Health Department flu vaccine clinics in your area, see—Influenza.aspx.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email or call 530-477-4239.

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