Ice causes road closures, power outages

Published 1:15 pm Saturday, January 25, 2014

A wintry mix fell across Jeff Davis and Allen parishes late Thursday and early Friday, forcing many road closures and isolated power outages.

Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff Ivy Woods said law enforcement agencies were busy monitoring road conditions and redirecting traffic.

“We barricaded most of the on-ramps to I-10 so that traffic would take U.S. 90 to avoid having traffic on the overpasses,” Woods said. “We had so much rain, and it was freezing.”

The wintry conditions resulted in intermittent closures of Interstate 10 and forced authorities to close all bridges and overpasses in the parish at one point early Friday. Most had reopened by late Friday.

The Mermentau River Bridge on U.S. 90, the Jenke Bridge on La. 97 and Lake Arthur Bridge over the Mermentau River on La. 14 remained closed at mid-afternoon.

The parish saw more sleet and ice than snow, Woods said.

In Allen Parish, Sheriff Doug Hebert III said officials were preparing for continuing inclement weather as temperatures were expected to linger below freezing all day Friday and into early Saturday.

Motorists could encounter another morning of icy conditions on roads and bridges, Hebert said.

“We were hoping the temperatures would stay above freezing long enough for some of the frozen precipitation to get off the roads, but that may not happen,” he said.

The parish saw about an inch of snow in the Oakdale and Elizabeth areas on Friday with sleet and icy conditions reported in other parts of the parish, he said.

At least five traffic accidents were reported — mostly vehicles in ditches — but no deaths or major injuries, Hebert said.

All roads in Allen Parish remained open but were closely monitored, he said.

Isolated power outages were reported in the Kinder area Thursday night, but most power had been restored by Friday morning, he said.

Sporadic power outages were also reported in Jeff Davis with most power restored by noon.(American Press archives)

Michelle Higginbotham