Storm breaks bones, sends some to surgery

Harrison Medical Center orthopedics unit filled up during last weeks snow storm. Broken bones from slips on the ice around homes and in parking lots during the three-day storm that blanketed Kitsap County in snow then dumped frozen rain.

“Our house is very full right now,” said Jacquie Goodwill, spokeswoman for Harrison Medical Center. “Most of those with broken bones are those who were already quite fragile.”

Several elderly patients were in surgery by Monday to treat broken hips.

The hospital staff is “grateful” that the weather warmed up and that those with senior family members should still minimize going outside or offer help until the ice clears up, Goodwill said.

Else where, the storm brought “hundreds of calls” to Bremerton Police Department between Jan. 18 and 20, reporting kids sliding down potentially dangerous hills and cars driving too fast on the roads.

One homeless man called 9-1-1 because he couldn’t figure out where to go in the snow storm, said Bremerton Police Lt. Luis Olan. A Bremerton police officer responded to the call giving him a courtesy ride to the Severe Weather Shelter at the Bremerton Foodline.

There was no increase in overall crime during the storm. Authorities reported 83 crimes during the storm – burglaries, thefts or drugs.

“It was crime as usual,” Olan said. “Bad guys know no quarter.”

Little property damage from vehicles sliding off the roads, crashing into homes, sheds or mail boxes occurred. Olan explained that when property damage totaled less than $700, police were instructed to hand out self-fill forms for the homeowner and motorist to mail in to the state.

Across Washington state, the volume of snow-related highway accidents increased, said Russ Winger, spokesman for Washington State Patrol. Response times by troopers quadrupled over the same days last year due to this increased volume of calls, he said.

“We had a good amount of snow-related collisions,” Winger said. “But, following [the storm] it got very quiet, now that roads are bare and wet for the most part.”

Bremerton School District is not sure if they will be required to make make up the missed days due to snow, said Patty Glaser, spokesperson for Bremerton School District.

“We’re just not sure because with the wind storm a few years ago [that canceled school,] we were not required to make it up,” Glaser said. She added that if the state does not require the district to make up the three missed school days, they will not likely add those school days to the end of the school year.

Bremerton Mayor Patti Lent said that the city had a budgeted for roads, sand and overtime work for clearing ice for 2012. As of Tuesday, Lent was unable to say how much the storm blew through the budget.

Kitsap County reported spending about $153,000 for its battle with the storm.

Caroline Thompson, budget analyst for the City of Bremerton said that the 2012 budget for winter storm personnel and supplies was $15,000.

“We are still finalizing any overtime for sand and fuel to get the entire cost,” Lent said.


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