Icy road

Temperatures in the low 20s and roads covered with ice and snow Monday morning kept most motorists from venturing out.

Frigid winter weather will continue across Southwest Louisiana throughout Tuesday and into Wednesday. Precipitation is expected to end Tuesday afternoon, but temperatures will continue to decrease overnight, Roger Erickson, National Weather Service Lake Charles warning coordination meteorologist, said.

Temperatures will drop to the lower teens with the wind chill “down even to the single digits,” he said. 

Tuesday’s high is expected to reach only 32 to 33 degree and road conditions will only improve if the sun comes out. “Otherwise, it’s going to be ice problems continuing into Tuesday night when we go back down to the teens and twenties.”

The “very large system” impacting Southwest Louisiana extends from the Mexican border up to the Canadian border, Erickson said. As the storm moves across the country, precipitation is expected to continue to hold off in the Southwest Louisiana until Wednesday’s rainfall.

“But the temperature should be above freezing then so it should stay as rain…That’s what we were worried about, freezing rain or sheets of ice.”

As the region recovers from Monday’s ice and sleet, Derek Senegal, Louisiana State Police Troop D public information officer, said the public is still discouraged from driving. 

“It’s going to be icy for a minute…We still want people to stay off the road way. No traveling at all, not unless they absolutely have to leave to go out.”

If motorists must travel in the inclement weather and experience skidding, he advised drivers to “take your foot off the accelerator and turn into the skid until you regain control.”

As of Monday afternoon, the Louisiana Department of Transportation closed the I-210 westbound flyover ramp for I-10 eastbound as well as the Union Pacific Railroad Overpass on U.S. Highway 165 in Kinder. 

Senegal said, “It is illegal and potentially dangerous to drive around barricades.” Those who do so are responsible for damages to persons or property and may be subject to up to $500 in fines and/or up to 30 days in jail. 

For up to date road closures visit, www.511la.org or check the Louisiana State Police’s Facebook, www.facebook.com/LouisianaStatePolice.

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