First snow presents problems for drivers

First snow presents problems for drivers
Obion County’s first snowfall of the season caused numerous problems for motorists early today.
Overnight snow prompted county school officials to start classes an hour later than usual today and around the county there were numerous crashes reported, according to local law enforcement officials.
A dispatcher at the Obion County Sheriff’s Department told The Messenger early today they have handled several weather-related traffic crashes today.
The first traffic crash was reported around 6:30 a.m. when a vehicle slid off the roadway on Highway 21 West near Hornbeak.
Other crashes reported early today included a vehicle that ran off the roadway and flipped on the Highway 22 East bypass at Reelfoot Avenue just east of Union City, a one-vehicle crash on the Ken-Tenn Highway north of Union City and a vehicle that ran off the roadway on Highway 431 (the old Martin Highway) just east of Union City.
As of early today, there were no reported injuries involved with any of the crashes.
A steady snowfall was falling throughout the morning in the area, and although the snow wasn’t sticking to the roadway in the Union City area there were several reports of snow covering the roads elsewhere in the county, particularly east of Union City around the Midway community.
There was also a report that around an inch of snow was recorded on the roads in the Old Lake Road area.
Obion County Highway Superintendent Gary Lofton told The Messenger today he and his crews are ready in case conditions worsen on local roads.
“We’re on standby ready for it if it starts sticking to the roads,” Lofton said about 9:30 a.m. today.
He said the roads this morning were “slushy” and that he was monitoring the condition of area bridges, which typically freeze over first.
Lofton said his department is prepared if conditions worsen in the county. He said the local highway department “is stocked up” with rock chips that will be spread on the roads if there is a threat of the roads freezing over.
He said his crews are on 24-hour standby.
With the temperature still hovering near the freezing mark and snow showers continuing at mid-morning, local law enforcement was urging motorists to use extra caution while traveling this morning.
No major problems were reported in Union City this morning and, at press time, Union City Police Department dispatch had received a report of just one minor weather-related accident in the city.
There were a couple of minor accidents, with no injuries reported, during the precipitation which fell Monday afternoon and evening, according to police reports.
Outside the city, an Obion County school bus was making its usual turn-around on a South Fulton route this morning when it got stuck in a driveway due to the extremely damp ground conditions. Reports that a bus was stuck in a ditch were incorrect, according to Obion County Director of Schools David Huss.
In western Kentucky, the Associated Press reported snow has created hazardous driving conditions.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd said trucks are spreading salt on roads in the western Kentucky counties of Fulton, Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman, Graves and McCracken.
Even so, he says several slide-offs have been reported in Ballard County and motorists are advised to use caution.
Todd said highway crew supervisors monitored the weather overnight. He says warm pavement temperatures kept snow from accumulating overnight, but snow showers became more organized around daybreak today and up to 3 inches fell. Published in The Messenger 11.29.11

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