Russellville uses new, yet old piece of equipment to clear roads

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - In northwest Alabama, Russellville and Franklin County seemed to get the worst part of the snow. With more than six inches of snow in places, the city said their grateful a surplus piece of Army equipment is on hand to clear a path for drivers.

As kids and parents put the finishing touches on their snowman Thursday morning, cars peppered the road in front of their Russellville home.

Police Chief Chris Hargett said North Jackson Avenue turned into a parking lot as roads iced over.

“When it started, it was here and it caught some people off guard,” Hargett explained. “I think they were waiting for it to start before they started home.”

Beginning at daybreak Thursday, Chief Hargett hit the roads in the city’s newest acquisition. A year and a half ago, Hargett said the city was in need of a dump truck and he found one on a government surplus site. When he arrived to pick it up, lo and behold, it had a snowplow attached.

“This is one of those pieces of equipment we got from the military surplus program. We were lucky to find it and be able to get it and actually put it to use now,” Hargett stated. “We hope we don’t have to use it that much, but I think it’s actually going to help.”

And at no cost to the city, Hargett said the dump truck with snow plow is invaluable. Proof by the amount of snow removal Hargett was able to perform Thursday morning.

“The value of it is priceless right now,” Hargett said. “If we didn’t have it right now we would have the city vehicles, the backhoes and stuff. But this is a little more efficient as far as getting the snow off.”

And by removing much of the snow off the main roads around the city, drivers have been able to get out of their neighborhoods and back to normal life. The only cost the city of Russellville incurred was the price of going to Little Rock, Arkansas to pick the dump truck up.

The United States military makes almost all surplus equipment available to law enforcement through periodic giveaways.