North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

January 17, 2013

UPDATE: Heavy snow, ice creating big problems on roadways

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— The winter storm that has moved into metro Birmingham is now causing snow accumulations on roadways, especially in north Jefferson County and all of Blount.

Roads in Gardendale and Fultondale are becoming snow-covered, icy and slick, according to reports from law enforcement and the public. Fultondale Police reports that Decatur Highway is passable, but that the hill leading southward from there into North Birmingham is very treacherous and should be avoided.

Gardendale Police said that all city streets were in very bad shape, and that Fieldstown Road in particular was "terrible." Reports have been posted on the NJN Facebook page of stranded motorists on Shady Grove Road, followed up by a post from Council President Stan Hogeland saying that sand trucks are in route.

Warrior Police Chief Ray Horn said that Warrior-Jasper Road and Arkadelphia Road, just to the west of the city, are in particularly bad shape. "At one time, there were 20 cars stuck on Arkadelphia Road," Horn said. "It;s outside the city limits, but we sent a car out there anyway to help, and it got stuck too."

Horn said sand trucks are supposed to be on their way to those trouble spots.

Morris is faring a bit better, with icing on the Glenwood Road bridge over Turkey Creek the only reported issue.

Jefferson and Blount school systems dismissed early for the day, and all sports events and other after-school functions are cancelled as well. Virtually all other public meetings are also called off, including an open-house meeting by Gardendale City Councilman Alan Jerkins that was scheduled for the Civic Center; it has been put off until Feb. 7.

Accumulation reports at 2:15 p.m. range from 1 to 2.5 inches across the metro area. At The North Jefferson News office in downtown Gardendale, a little more than an inch has fallen on grassy areas, and about half an inch on pavement. Heavy snow is still falling at this hour.

ALDOT reports numerous road problems throughout the region, so much so that their website is having problems keeping up with traffic. Among the known issues:

We'll continue to monitor conditions throughout the evening.