North Mississippi crews work to keep up with icy roads - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

North Mississippi crews work to keep up with icy roads

By Jamel Major - bio | email


By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - As the sun rose Thursday morning, road crews found many cars abandoned by drivers in DeSoto County on the side of icy roads.

"It's a little bit worse than it has been last few snows," said Larry Bell of the DeSoto County Road Department. "It's been a lot slicker, with a lot more people in the ditch than usual."

The sun provided some relief for Bell and his crew, who spent the day hitting the secondary roads.

"We're probably running countrywide about 10 to 15 to 20 trucks," he said.

Bell's crews spent the day spreading a sand and salt mixture on neighborhood streets, bridges, and overpasses.

"It gives them a lot more traction and it's not so slick when you get the sand down over it," Bell said.

In Horn Lake, police also manned the streets as they offered help to motorists.

"Most of the guys right now are handling abandoned vehicles, cars off roadways, and assisting the motorists," said Chris Rainbolt of the Horn Lake Police Department.

According to Rainbolt, most drivers took their advice to stay off the roads, but others, who were brave enough to battle the icy conditions, had to learn the hard way.

"The main thing I've seen is people driving too fast for conditions," he said. "They're not putting themselves in a position to get there safely when you're going 30 to 40 miles per hour on ice covered roads."

When the sun came up on Tunica County Thursday, the hazards of Wednesday's snow storm were all too clear.

As much as 5 inches of snow fell in parts of the county, forming a picturesque blanket of white on wide open fields. But on the pavement, ice was the foundation of a dangerous landscape.

Travelers had to proceed with caution on 4 wheels, 18 wheelers, and on foot.

"I almost had a wreck," motorist Nico Jamison said. "There's been like, I'd say, 200 cars been messed up on down 55 North, about 200 wrecked, trucks and all.

Jamison took a break from his journey at a BP station on Highway 61. Ed Hicks, the general manager of the station, said there was only one way to make sure someone would be there to mind the store.

"I stayed here all night," he said. "I live in Cordova, Tennessee, and I wasn't going to ride on those icy streets. I'd rather be safe."

Thursday morning, the sunshine was a welcome sight to many, but but with temperatures still well below freezing, getting around was no less treacherous one day after the crippling snow storm.

For Chip Smith, a tow truck operator for Kimble's Towing in Horn Lake, the calls kept pouring in Thursday.

"It's hard to put a number on it," said Smith. "Last 24 hours when they run off the road, they are leaving them and calling the next day."

Drivers all across DeSoto County who chose not to stay off the roads had to battle the severe weather conditions.

"It's bad for the customer, but for wrecker services and mechanics, it generates business for us," said Smith.

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