Winter weather hinders traffic

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 26, 2014

Temperatures climbed into the mid-20s on Saturday but a 30-degree temperature increase was trumped by yet another winter storm that left roads frozen and covered with snow.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless Saturday morning announced the county was in a Level 1 snow emergency.

“The roads are snow and ice covered,” Lawless said. “County and state work crews are out working on the roads. The temperature should allow the salt and calcium treatments to work.”

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Lawless said there were reports of a few minor accidents throughout the county but the roads could only be described as bad.

“Stay home if you can,” he said. “Drive slow and safe if you have to get out. Put a couple car lengths between you and the car ahead of you.”

Lawless anticipated most main roads being relatively clear by Saturday afternoon, but he and county engineer Doug Cade agreed secondary roads would be a much different story.

“I just spoke with Doug (Cade) and although the main roads should be OK, the secondary roads will probably stay covered and dangerous a while longer,” Lawless said. “Even if the sun breaks through the clouds it won’t shine on the secondary roads as much as the main roads and they are just more difficult to clear and keep clear. Use caution regardless.”

Time is key, Cade said, to getting roads cleared and people traveling smoothly.

“Six to eight hours is about the time we need to get at least the main roads somewhat clear if we don’t get any additional snow,” he said. “If someone has to drive please drive slowly and move over for snow plows and let us work.”

Snow was expected to taper off early this morning as temperatures again dipped into single digits. Today’s forecast of 40 degrees and partly cloudy should create some melting, but snow and negative temperatures are set to return on Monday.