Pine Belt begins clean-up process in aftermath of winter storm

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - As Pine Beltians are making their way back into a normal routine after this week's winter storm, clean-up efforts are underway.

"We believe that today [Thursday] the bridges are going to melt, and that most of the roads have or are already melting," said Forrest County Board of Supervisors President David Hogan.

Forrest County offices opened back up Thursday morning, and crews were there to help clear the way for those returning to work with ice still covering much of downtown Hattiesburg.

"We've used twenty 50-pound loads of de-icing chemicals, twenty loads of mason sand and twenty hours of manpower overtime," said Hogan of the county's storm preparations. "I don't ever remember seeing this much ice at one time, sleeting as much as it did."

Icy areas remain a dangerous factor for the Pine Belt, particularly on sidewalks and interstate ramps. County and city crews will be seen clearing these areas in the coming days, and Hogan said he feels the steps taken before the storm's arrival alleviated some of the damage that could have made matters worse.

"I think we did a good job of warning people, preparing the bridges prior to, and then doing what we could as the storm got worse," said Hogan.

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