Motorists brave treacherous roads

Published 2:32 pm Wednesday, January 29, 2014

PHOTO/MONA MOORE It was another day at the office for Jerry Russell. He and most of his crew reported bright and early to their job site.

It was another day at the office for Jerry Russell. He and most of his crew reported bright and early to their job site.

Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport had to leave his patrol car at home Wednesday morning.

He had an officer meet him down the road and pick him up.

“The roads are bad, believe me. It’s just too hazardous to be out,” he reported while on his way to a wreck on U.S. Highway 231. “If it’s not absolutely essential, stay off the road. We’re not even requiring non-essential personnel.”

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Davenport said there were no serious wrecks and no reports of casualties related to the storm.

“Just snow and ice,” he said. “Lots of snow and ice.”

Jeanna Barnes of the Pike County EMA said roads were extremely hazardous, especially with the forecasts of freezing temperatures through today.

“Temperatures shouldn’t rise above freezing until around noonish [Thursday],” Barnes said.

Lt. Bryan Weed of the Troy Police Department said officers did not see many wrecks on the road.

“We’ve just been dealing with roadway issues. They’ve been going out and assisting motorists,” he said.

At one point, four 18-wheelers were stuck in the intersection of Madison and South Brundidge streets.

After icy roads had sent 18-wheelers sliding across major roadways, law enforcement directed all traffic on U.S. Highway 231 to the Food World parking lot on South Brundidge Street.

Other truck drivers used parking lots at Walmart and Troy Market Place to wait out the hazardous conditions.

“Most of them have been good about pulling over into the parking lot,” Weed said.

Troy resident William Pynes opted to walk to Food World, one of the few businesses opened Wednesday.

“I had to get some groceries and I walked here because of the ice on the roads. It’s way too dangerous to drive,” he said. “Most people are out not because they have to be, but because they want to be. They’re just having fun.”

Pynes said he was heading home.

Despite the closure of all roadways in Pike County, many motorists ignored the warnings and discovered black ice waiting for them Wednesday morning.

Four out of five of Jerry Russell’s construction crew showed up for work Wednesday morning.

“We ain’t wimps,” Russell said.

Russell drove in to downtown Troy from Montgomery. On a normal day, the trip would have taken about 40 minutes. On Wednesday, it took Russell about an hour as he passed several vehicles in ditches.

“It ain’t that bad. We’ve worked in worse than this,” he said. “Now, what’s open? I’m hungry.”