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Editorial: Guard’s work was essential

When three winter storms moved through the Tri-State area last month, not only were roads made slick and dangerous, but the worst ice the county has seen in nearly two decades downed trees nearly everywhere, knocking out power to thousands and leaving many roads impassable.

Lawrence County is geographically one of Ohio’s largest counties and, as such, has hundreds of miles of highways, county roads and township roads connecting its more remote residents to the cities on the river.

Cleaning up after this storm was a major undertaking and that is why Gov. Mike DeWine visited the area, toured the hardest hit parts and activated the National Guard.

After arriving in the county, the Guard, within two weeks, cleared nearly 230 miles of highway of fallen trees and branches.

Local officials said that, without the Guard, it may have taken local crews multiple months to clean up the debris left behind.

Last week, the Guard left the area, with the soldiers and airmen having completed their mission and helped the county recover from the battering it took in February.

We thank DeWine for coming to see the damage firsthand and sending the Guard.

And are especially grateful to all of the 60 members who worked nonstop to get this area back on it feet and running.