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January 25, 2013

Pulaski County on ice

Wintry blast results in dangerous roadways

Somerset —  

A winter storm packing an icy punch left area roadways treacherous for much of Friday, leading to a number of accidents that kept emergency responders busy.
“The major roads are clearing up, but we certainly have a number of secondary roadways that are still hazardous, especially in the more rural areas,” said Pulaski County Sheriff Todd Wood at around 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Many in the county had gone to bed Thursday night expecting some type of wintry precipitation – but it wasn’t known for sure what would come down in the early morning hours Friday. Forecasts had called for some snow and some ice, with the caveat that less snow would mean more ice and vice versa.
What Pulaski residents woke up to was virtually no snow – and freezing drizzle that began before 6 a.m. Friday.
Luckily, the Pulaski County school system had called off classes for Friday, and the other school systems were quick to do the same. A number of area businesses closed early or didn’t open at all, thanks to the wintry weather.
“Dealing with ice is much different than dealing with snow,” said Wood.
Snow, while a nuisance, can usually be traversed with caution. Ice, on the other hand, can be nearly impossible to control a vehicle on. Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Jackson reported that as of 5 p.m. Friday, southern Pulaski County had seen about a fourth of an inch (.25 of an inch) of ice accumulation. Residents north of that saw around a fifth of an inch (.20 of an inch).
The area’s bitterly cold temperatures meant a tougher job for county and state road workers who canvassed the county Friday to apply salt mixture.
The colder the road surface, the more difficult it is to melt ice and snow. Motorists were warned by authorities going into Friday evening that the melted ice would no doubt freeze again as the temperatures dropped again overnight.

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