Threat of ice, snow prompts closing

Published 11:00 pm Monday, January 27, 2014

When it comes to the impact of today’s expected storm, Pike County is in the “sweet spot.” According to the National Weather Service, the area could see more than three inches of snow by tonight. The storm will start this morning with sleet and ice, but develop into snow flurries this afternoon. The heaviest band of snow is expected between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m.

By Wednesday morning, the precipitation will end, but iced roadways will not. Temperatures will barely rise above freezing Wednesday afternoon.

“Thursday will be a little better, but not much,” said a spokesman at NWS during a briefing Monday afternoon. “If we do have any melt off on Wednesday it’s going to refreeze Wednesday night.”

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The amount of snow and ice that accumulates will determine how cold Thursday gets.

The Alabama Department of Transportation started preparations for handling iced roads and bridges. Starting today, the local branch of the ADOT will have a call center open for reporting road conditions and responding to blocked or iced roads.

The county closed Pike County roadways except for essential travel last night.

“There is potential for Pike County to receive up to a quarter-inch of ice,” said Jeanna Barnes, EMA director for Pike County. “This will create extremely hazardous road and driving conditions. Please only travel if it is extremely necessary.”

Troy Mayor Jason Reeves said the city was preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

“We had a meeting at 9 a.m. (Monday) to start planning, and we have crews and staff on standby.”

City officials will be working to maintain city roads and bridges. Alabama Department of Transportation maintains the state roads and highways, such as U.S. 231 and the bridges on Highway 29.

“We’re also asking residents and businesses who may have sprinkler systems on automated systems to go ahead and turn those off,” Reeves said.

Reeves said city offices will be open on Tuesday and will provide services to residents who find themselves in need of a shelter should power outages occur. “We are prepared to open the rec center, if needed,” he said.

Lt. Bryan Weed said the Troy Police Department canceled all leave to ensure full shifts would be on duty during the storm. He reiterated concerns about the roadways.

“Our biggest concern is going to be with ice. Ice is what makes the limbs fall and power lines get knocked out,” he said. “If it’s going to be as bad as they’re predicting, don’t be out on the roadway.”

Residents heeded early warnings, stocking up on water and food in anticipation of the storm.

Local grocery stores have seen Pike County residents stock up on food and non-perishable items in anticipation of the coming weather. “We’ve been busier today than any other time this month,” said Marie Wilson, and employee at the Troy Piggly Wiggly. “Usually, at this time of the month, we’re dead, but not today. People are buying bread and sandwich meat and stuff like that – things that won’t go bad.”

Teresa Grimes, CEO of Troy Regional Medical Center, recommended people prepare for the next few days by not only stocking up on supplies, but medicines as well.

“As anybody would say plan ahead, be prepared, get all supplies, get medicines, because there is a possibility you will not be able to get out,” she said.

The hospital will remain open and staff members have extended shifts in order to accommodate weather-related emergencies.

“We have rescheduled some elective procedures to keep our patients safe and off the roads,” Grimes said.

For road updates, go to

Closings reported in anticipation of the weather include:

• All Alabama campuses of Troy University will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday’s start time will be determined Wednesday afternoon.

• Troy City Schools will dismiss at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday for the Early Childhood Center and noon for all other schools. Classes are cancelled for Wednesday.

• Pike Liberal Arts School will cancel classes both Tuesday and Wednesday.

• New Life Christian Academy will cancel classes both Tuesday and Wednesday.

• Pike County Schools will have no school Tuesday and will make a decision regarding Wednesday by Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. All scheduled activities have been suspended through Wednesday.

• The Troy City Council will cancel its 5:15 p.m. Tuesday meeting.

• All Troy Recreation games scheduled for Tuesday night are cancelled.

• First National Bank will close both its Brundidge and Troy offices today at 11:30 a.m.

A delayed opening Wednesday is also expected.