Jacobs: Weather takes toll on rural roads

Northern Nye County crews are continuing to deal with road issues from previous storms that left heavy snow in some rural areas.

“We had a vast amount of snow in the last three weeks, and now it’s starting to melt,” Tim Carlo, director of the Nye County Road Department, told the county’s Board of Highway Commissioners in Tonopah on Feb. 7.

Road closures were in place that included through Ione, Monitor Valley, Little Fish Lake and Stonewall, he said, adding that the county was starting to see roads washing out.

“We’re getting to them as quick as we can,” Carlo said. “We had some reports last night (Feb. 6) of people getting turned around on their way up through Pole Line trying to get over into Yomba. It is closed. It is impassable there. We have 3-foot deep washouts from the snowmelt.”

In an interview, Carlo said that gravel roads are involved. They have multiple uses.

“The residents use them,” he said. “There’s cattle ranches out there. There’s people who utilize them. We mark them, sign them, and get to them as we can. We do take care of emergencies. School buses always come first. And then people wanting just to get out recreationally, they are at the bottom of the list.”

The affected roads can be put on the county’s normal rotation, but first the roads have to dry out.

“It’s hard to put a price on it,” Carlo said. “We haven’t even assessed it at this point.”

Some traffic was being rerouted.

“In areas where we can get them around the hazard, we will. In some instances, they just have to turn around and go a different way.”

No injuries or traffic crashes were reported on the weather-weary roads that are described as being in northwestern Nye County.

Nye County Commission Chairman Dan Schinhofen of Pahrump said the road crews are handling the troubles “just exactly right.”

“If you’ve got people, and you have business that needs to happen, you get those first. If it’s people who just want to go up and look at snow, they’re going to have to wait.”

Earlier, commissioner Donna Cox of Pahrump praised Nye County crews, including from public works.

“I had not seen as bad roads in my life as they have in Flagstaff (Arizona), in Washington, D.C. and Oklahoma,” she said. “The people here have nothing really to complain about. I think we’re much more on top of it than we realized. If you want to see bad roads, they’re bad everywhere. So we’ve actually kept on top of it a lot better than some of the places.”

Cox added: “The bridges across this country are horrible. I think that President Trump has it right when he says we need to put more money into our country and do roads and bridges. Hopefully, we’ll get some of that.”

Contact reporter David Jacobs at djacobs@tonopahtimes.com