More Injuries:Slippery Sidewalks To Blame

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 01/08 2014 06:01PM

Updated 01/09 2014 07:13AM

WINOOSKI, Vt. -  While the main roads are clear many sidewalks are still covered in ice.
And crews say there's nothing they can do about it until it gets a bit warmer.

“Every day I walk everywhere,” said Julie Orenbach.
Orenbach has lived in Winooski for 11 winters.
She says the 20 minute walk to her son's school is tricky.
“The sidewalks- they are horrible. There has been many times that I’ve had to walk in the road which is not safe either because the sidewalks are either not plowed, or they are not sanded and they are just completely covered with ice,” said Orenbach.
Ice that began piling up almost three weeks ago and has made itself right at home.
Doctors in the Emergency Department at Fletcher Allen say in one day there were nine people in the ER with broken wrists, all from falling on the ice.
And they expect those numbers to increase as the stubborn ice sticks around.
“We had quite a mess,” said Peter Wernsdorfer, the Winooski Public Works Director.
Wernsdorfer says his crews have been hard at work but Mother Nature has kept them busy.
“We weren't able to keep up with it just like everyone else when we got hammered,” said Wernsdorfer.
Wernsdorfer says as crews focused on getting the roads clear, the ice on the sidewalks piled up.
“We did the best we could - we concentrated on the school routes, we concentrated on the downtown. And we kept open the areas where we know we have heavy pedestrian traffic,” said Wernsdorfer.
Now Wernsdorfer says the ice in some parts is so thick the sidewalk plows can’t move it.
But if we have a bit of a warm up that might do the trick.
“A little bit of sunshine, being able to get the sand and the grit out, get it working, and get the ice broken up and getting it off the sidewalks,” said Wernsdorfer.
While many sidewalks in the Winooski circle are clear other areas- aren't.
So Orenbach says just take your time and be careful.
“It’s very bumpy; it’s hard to navigate sometimes because you can twist your ankle you know,” said Orenbach.
For many places around Vermont the story is the same. Many towns are battling slippery sidewalks, so be extra careful when venturing out on foot.

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