PUTNAM COUNTY — As Putnam County residents struggle with drifted
drives, snow-covered roads and Level 3 Road Advisories, many have talked
about how this compares to the snowfall during the winter of 1977-78
when the great 1978 Blizzard occurred. During that storm, ten inches of
snow fell in Putnam County on Jan. 26-27. Schools were forced to close
eight of 18 days from the middle of January to Jan. 31.
to Ray Burkholder, who was the official weather observer for our area at
that time, Putnam County received a total of 66.1 inches of snow from
Dec. 1, 1978 to Feb. 28, 1978. Compare that to what current official
weather observer Guy Verhoff has reported for this year: 55.4 inches of
snow from Dec. 1, 2013, to Feb. 10, 2014.
During the 1977-78 winter the snowfall was Dec.-24.5 inches; Jan.-33.9 inches and Feb.-7.7 inches.
During the 2013-14 winter snowfall has been Dec.-14.3 inches; Jan.-23.6 inches and Feb. (as of Feb. 10)-17.5 inches
Doug Schroeder, director
of the Ottawa Waste Water Treatment Plant reported that Ottawa received
12.7 inches of snowfall in January and 16 inches in February. He said,
when melted down, this totals 8.75 inches of precipitation since the
first of the year.
“We hope the snow doesn’t melt too fast,” Schroeder said. “With all the snow piles around, this could cause a problem.”
addressing this year’s severe weather conditions have been the Putnam
County Commissioners. Since the first of the year they have officially
closed the courthouse for three days when Level 3 road advisories were
On Tuesday, Feb. 11, they approved a resolution that when
the county offices are closed due to weather or other emergency
conditions, employees will be paid for those hours the employees were
scheduled to work. Employees not scheduled to work, on approved FMLA,
sick leave, vacation, leave of absence of otherwise unavailable for work
shall not be entitled to pay for the hours the Putnam County Offices
Employees who are designated as “essential employees”
by the Commissioners, (such as maintenance), are expected to come to
work regardless of weather conditions and are entitled to time and
one-half for all the hours worked during the “emergency closing.”
because of snow, the Putnam County Real Estate taxes due date has been
extended until Friday, Feb. 14. Envelopes must be post marked by then or
a penalty will be assessed. Office hours are: Monday – Friday, 8:30
a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – closed Saturday. A drop box is located in the alley
off of Hickory St.