Officials prepare for incoming icy weather

Officials prepare for incoming icy weather

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A little wet weather and freezing temperatures are headed our way. That could mean some dangerous driving conditions to look out for on Thursday night and into the morning. Emergency officials are already working on ways to keep drivers safer.

Some of the areas that may see the greatest threats of ice include Highway 431 from Gadsden to Anniston. Elevated roadways on I-20 in the Oxford area could also be of concern.

Icy roads can happen anywhere when rain freezing temperatures mix. That is why state troopers are looking into ways to improve travel during winter weather.

Last Thursday, icy roads and several accidents caused I-65 north of Cullman to be shut down overnight; hundreds of drivers were stuck. State Trooper Curtis Summerville says officials were caught off guard by the snow that fell quickly.

Officials are now looking into how to prevent the same thing from happening again. Summerville says the main thing is finding ways to better inform drivers about hazardous road conditions.

"…so that people will know that this road is shut down, to take an alternate route or not travel at all. I think the problem is people kept traveling on the interstate without getting off or not knowing traffic was blocked ahead of them," said Summerville about the state troopers' preparation efforts.

Summerville says state troopers will get together with EMA and Department of Transportation officials to come up with ways to address the problem. He says one idea is to use billboards to communicate with drivers. Another idea is to use social media to send out tweets to inform drivers about road closures.

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