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Slipping, sliding not much fun

Falls send several to ER; Sand, ice melt best beating icy conditions

Posted: Friday, March 07, 2008

 

  John Roderick chips ice on his driveway off Marydale Lane in Soldotna on Thursday afternoon. "It's been a work in progress," he said. Photo by M. Scott Moon

John Roderick chips ice on his driveway off Marydale Lane in Soldotna on Thursday afternoon. "It's been a work in progress," he said.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

Recent warm weather has caused conditions to get icy, causing residents to slip and fall on the ice.

Central Peninsula Hospital saw six patients with fall-related injuries on Wednesday alone.

"We had one admitted that required surgical intervention and one that had to be transferred," said Theresa Furguson, who works in the emergency room. "The other four went home."

Of the two more serious patients, one had a head injury and the other suffered an ankle fracture.

The other four came in with miscellaneous complaints like back pain.

According to Paul Miller, who owns Trustworthy Hardware in Soldotna, the best tools for beating icy conditions are sand, ice melt and ice cleats.

"Ice melt will melt and dig into the ice," Miller said. "(Sand) makes it like sandpaper and easy to walk on.

"Use ice cleats when it's this bad."

Ice melt and sand will both last through the melting and refreezing that the area has been experiencing lately, but they must be redistributed after it snows.

"You just have this bag of sand and you sprinkle it in front of you when you go out there," he said. "It'll stay there until it snows again. When the ice is melting like it is now, it'll stay really good. That's the only thing you can do with this ice."

Nick Erikson, store manager at Home Depot, also said that the best things to use on ice are ice melt and sand.

"Sand is probably the best to give you some traction on an icy surface," he said. "Sand is also good because it is kind of safe for the environment in many respects.

"The sand will help the ice go away because it's dark in color and, with the sun coming out, it will help melt the ice."

Erikson recommends using an icemelt that is safe for concrete if it is being used on sidewalks and driveways since some types can be harmful to concrete.

"It chemicaly kind of melts the ice and makes it weaker so that it's easier to scrape it," he said.

Although using sand and ice melt can help, Miller said nothing is fool-proof in these conditions.

"I just walk very gingerly," he said. "I take these little tiny steps when I'm out on the ice. I haven't fallen yet."

Hannahlee Allers can be reached at hannahlee.allers@peninsulaclarion.com



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