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Black ice becomes big threat in the Shoals Tuesday night

Below freezing temperatures cause more issues in the Shoals.

Posted: Feb 16, 2021 5:38 PM
Updated: Feb 16, 2021 6:45 PM

Conditions in the Shoals are not getting better. Roads are still slick and treacherous to drive on.

Emergency management officials in Colbert, Lauderdale and Franklin Counties all say it's going to take a few days for the ice to completely melt.

Lauderdale County Emergency Management Director George Grabryan said they've only had a handful of trees fall in the county and a limited number of power outages, but now, more snow and sleet could be coming up in the next 24 hours.

"We're supposed to pick up a little more precipitation late in the day tomorrow, so that would be a concern there. Anymore precipitation is going to make this worse. We need sunshine and we need to get warmer temperatures in here, but unfortunately, it could take a day or two to get to that point," said Grabryan.

State and local road crews have been out salting and sanding bridges or slick spots. Later tonight, everything will turn to black ice because temperatures haven't gone above freezing.

Officials in Colbert, Lauderdale and Franklin Counties have been coordinating transports for doctors and nurses to local hospitals and essential personnel.

"It's mainly been doctors and nurses and personnel that work in nursing homes. People that have to be there. We've asked all of those entities to convert to 12-hour shifts, and then, we're doing the best we can to find them a ride to get there, and then, to also
get back home. Some of my staff has even been out getting my own employees bringing dispatchers in," said Colbert County Emergency Management Director Michael David Smith.

As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, over 1,000 people in Franklin County were still without power.

Mary Glass, the Franklin County EMA Director, said they have trees down throughout the county and powerlines, too. Today, crews were cleaning the trees away and trying to restore power to people.

She said they haven't had many calls about people without power needing heat but needed medical assistance.

"Most of our calls have been out and they are on oxygen, so we've been having to send an ambulance to get them and take them to the hospital," said Glass.

County roads in Colbert and Franklin Counties are still considered impassable.

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