Law enforcement stands ready to assist during storm
WORTHINGTON -- While Worthington-area residents cleaned up from Tuesday night's freezing rain and prepared for the snow that was predicted to start falling, law enforcement officials said Wednesday morning that there had not been any serious accidents.
"Right now we're just dealing with the power outage, basically," Worthington Police Chief Mike Cumiskey said. "We're advising people to be really careful when driving around, and to really look out for others and take it easy when they are cutting branches and pulling them out toward the boulevard.
"We're dealing with a few emergency calls, but right now, everyone is being responsible," he added. "Neighbors are helping out neighbors. A lot of people are focused on clearing debris, so there's not too much going on."
With rolling power outages throughout Worthington, many of the stoplights in the city Wednesday were not functioning reliably.
"We're losing power at McMillian and Oxford and Oxford and Humiston, but we've already put up portable stop signs," Cumiskey said.
Cumiskey said he anticipated the Worthington Police Department would need to respond to business security alarms as the power continues to flicker.
"When the electricity comes back on, we're going to be responding to alarm calls," he said. "Power surges trigger a lot of alarms at businesses."
Nobles County Sheriff Kent Wilkening said that throughout Nobles County, "the roads are extremely icy, and there are a lot of power lines down and lying across the road."
Wilkening noted that many people in rural areas have backup generators and that the sheriff's office hadn't received any emergency calls as of noon requesting assistance.
Wilkening also said that Nobles County 9 from Reading to Nobles County 35 was closed Tuesday night because power lines were lying on the road.
"The power company is trying to get all of those cleaned up and off the road," Wilkening said. "Right now, we're just trying to assess the damage."
In the meantime, Cumiskey and Wilkening asked that people continue to be safe and not overexert themselves.
"If someone has an elderly neighbor, go check on them and make sure they are OK; help them getting their trees clear. I'm sure they would appreciate it," Cumiskey said.
"Stay at home. Until we get things back up, if you need immediate help, just call. Otherwise, there is nothing for anyone to do. Just stay at home," Wilkening added.
Daily Globe Reporter Alyson Buschena may be reached at 376-7322.