EMA discourages travel due to icy conditions; all county roads deemed impassable

WINSTON COUNTY - Travel on roadways is being strongly discouraged by Winston County EMA Director Jimmy Madison due to the potential for deteriorating  winter weather conditions expected throughout the day.

Winston County Commissioner David Cummings also confirmed that all county roads were deemed impassable as of Monday afternoon due to numerous trees down .

“We are expecting a lot colder weather now than we were earlier this morning,” Madison said, as a cold rain was falling. The combination of dropping temperatures and the moisture were expected to create travel problems  throughout the day and into the night, Madison said.

The drop in temperatures was expected to cause issues with ice accumulating on trees and power lines, he said.

The mainly icy areas were on bridges and overpasses. “We’re trying to encourage people to stay off the roads unless it’s an emergency,” Madison pointed out.

Emergency first responders were busy Monday afternoon trying to clear roadways of fallen trees but the rate in which the trees were falling made that task difficult.

Governor Kay Ivey issued a State of Emergency on Sunday ahead of the winter weather threat. The northwest area of the state is under a Winter Storm Warning.

Chris Saylor of the HALEYVILLE Street Department reported Monday morning they had crews out putting sand on Newburg Road at the housing authority and overall major highways and main roads were in good shape.

The public should also prepare for possible power outages. Those who use space heaters as an auxiliary heat source should keep flammable materials away at a safe distance, Madison reminded. 
“We don’t want a house fire because of materials getting too close to space heaters,” Madison said.

Those who use heaters powered by propane need to be conscious of carbon monoxide and frequently vent the area. 
The Alabama Department of Transportation pre treated major highways Sunday night in anticipation of the wintry weather, officials said.

“Secondary roads are probably going to freeze first,” said Madison. “The thicker blacktop roads will freeze second.”

 Cummings reported bridges were icy with a few slick spots on roads.

“. “Right now we’re just sitting in this waiting game,” Cummings said.

Bear Creek Mayor Rob Taylor reported  some icy spots on Highway 13 as well as on  side roads and bridges as icy.

”In the lanes where your tires would be was not solid ice,” Taylor said. 

The biggest travel hazard is expected tonight with black ice due to temps expected to plummet into the teens to freeze the moisture that had fallen, Madison said .

A wind chill advisory is expected to be a factor throughout the day as well, he said.




See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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