Hercules no match for tough Back Mountain residents

First Posted: 1/6/2014

It was a winter storm called Hercules and residents of the Back Mountain responded with their usual character and strength.

Ron Simko, a bus driver and mechanic who lives in Tunkhannock, woke at 3 a.m. and was on the Dallas School District grounds to move all the buses for plowing and to make sure they all started just “in case” the district had classes. It’s his regular job for the G. Davis Bus Company.

Road crews for Dallas Borough and Kingston Twp. planned to begin their jobs as the snow started to fall.

Frank Kus, supervisor for Dallas Borough, had trucks loaded with a salt and PA state-approved anti-skid mix by 4 p.m. the day before. His small crew of three trucks planned to hit the roads and be finished by 11 p.m. when he hoped the police department would tell him the roads were clear of traffic.

“People think we aren’t doing anything,” he said. “The nuisance storms are the worse because we can’t plow ¾ of an inch of snow. But there is usually plenty of salt and material down already. It’s tough around here with the elevations and the hills.”

Action picked up again at 4 a.m. for road crews in both Dallas and Kingston Twp. when they started to plow streets after the night’s snowfall. Kingston Twp. has a crew of eight trucks and covers about 43 miles, according to Don Fritzges, the town crew supervisor.

Supermarkets and convenience stores tried to keep up with the deluge of people stocking up on food and supplies before the storm. Carol Pickering, who works at the Weis Market deli counter, said the store had been “hammered” with customers “non-stop” since the storm forecast was announced.

Christine Spinola, of West Pittston, who works for Friedman Farms in Dallas, pulled horses into the barn in advance of the coming storm. “They would stay outdoors like they do in severe thunderstorms but we pull them in, especially when it’s this cold.”

Carl Goodrich, of Main Street, Dallas, used his snow–blower to clear the driveway of his 84-year-old neighbor the next morning and the crew at the Ranch Wagon, Cassidy Barnes and Coreen Vitack, were ready to supply storm chasers and revelers with hot dogs and hamburgers.

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