National Guard Arrives in Deposit to Aid Recovery from Record Snowfall
Living in the Northeast, we're accustomed to the sight of snow and having to clean up the mess.
The scene in the Village of Deposit on Thursday was a bit more unusual, though, with dozens of National Guard members filling neighborhood streets to help.
"We're just working sun-up to sundown and getting as much done as we can," said National Guard Staff Sergeant Sean Moffett.
Thursday marked the third straight day of a state of emergency and no school in the village.
"The area, basically, that we're standing on right now, is referred to as a snow storage area, and it’s exceeded its capacity, so we have to be able to get that somewhere," said Village Mayor Robert Rynearson, Jr.
Snow banks easily reaching more than four feet tall invaded sidewalks, fire hydrants and intersections. Troops rolled in military-grade front-end loaders and dump trucks to relocate the snow to Village parks.
"We're so used to fending for ourselves, so it's so nice to see that state resources that you're putting an investment into are able to be used in your community," said Rynearson. "It's a big deal for us. Everybody is excited to see them, you know."
Battling the aftermath of the storm has been anything but easy for most communities, but National Guard members say hitting the ground for a clean-up mission like this is one of the highlights of the job.
"Once we're on the ground and working, the stress is out the window and we're just having a good time," said Moffett. "We're heavy engineers. Our job is to play in the dirt, and that's where we want to be. We'd rather be playing in dirt than snow, but we'll make do."
"They signed up so they can serve their communities as well as the nation. So for them to be able to go right back into a small town, everybody has just got a huge smile even though they're blistering cold," said Rynearson.
Parking is banned on all streets in the village until further notice. No foot traffic is allowed on Front, Second, Division, Pine and Borden streets from the hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.