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Municipal services, schools closed again as bitter cold continues

MADISON – With icy, hazardous road conditions and continued shivering cold temperatures municipal and county government operations remain shut down today.

Public and private schools are also closed throughout North Alabama as are other area and regional municipal buildings and services. Wind chill warnings and advisories remain in effect into midmorning today.

While moisture isn’t forecast until possibly late Thursday into Friday, frigid conditions remain and some roads still have treacherous conditions. While crews have been working to salt and clear roads this week, some of those actions haven’t helped.

Steve Haraway, Madison County Commissioner from Madison who represents District 2, posted on Facebook that a combination of sleet and snow weren’t helping the efforts of road crews Tuesday.

“The roads are still covered in sleet and snow,” he wrote. “The biggest help we could have is for the sun to stay out and help melt some of the sleet and snow that covers the roadways. We are continuing to put salt out in the intersections and bridges to melt what is on the roadways. If at any point the sun starts to thaw what has fallen we will put the motor grader out and try to roll the sleet and snow off the road.

“At this point it just slides over the top and becomes a bigger mess than we have right now. Had this been 100 percent snow it would have been no problem to blade it off.”

National Weather Service meteorologist Kurt Weber told 256 Today that even with sun heating the wintry mix, another front that is expected to move in later Thursday could produce more precipitation to go along with freezing temperatures in the teens and single digits. 

The system might not produce more than rain, but Weber said roads might not improve “until early next week as far as having to watch your driving and hazardous conditions.”

Florence police recommended residents stay home.

“Remember that a roadway may seem to be clear, but there is a high chance it is covered in ice that is difficult to see,” the department posted on Facebook. “To mitigate the number of vehicle crashes and abandoned vehicles left on the roadways, we recommend that everyone stay home unless it is absolutely necessary that you get out.”

(Florence Police Department Facebook)

Madison County and Huntsville and Madison governments released a statement late Tuesday regarding today:

“(The closures Wednesday) include the Madison County Courthouse, City of Huntsville Municipal Court, and all government offices, services and facilities. Huntsville Transit will not run Orbit buses, but Access will continue to handle dialysis patients. Madison County TRAM will be closed.” 

Huntsville police said several main roads in the city were closed Tuesday, some this morning as well, including Airport Road/Carl T. Jones Drive from Whitesburg Drive to Tannahill Drive, Bankhead Parkway, Green Mountain Road, Golf Road and Cecil Ashburn Drive.

Officers also reported Interstate 565 was “extremely icy. Please use caution if traveling.

Decatur said its offices will be closed today but Athens city offices were scheduled to open at noon. However, officials said they will evaluate road conditions in morning to determine if closed for the full day.

City and county trash pickup across North Alabama will be delayed until roads have been deemed safe, officials said.

  

 

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