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December 24, 2008

Ice causes widespread accidents

<b>Many roads remained dangerous this morning</b>

Ice coated roads Tuesday afternoon, making them treacherous for travel.

Conditions on Ind. 18 forced state officials to close the highway between Galveston and U.S. 31. A semi jackknifed and several other vehicles slid off the road that contains a notorious S-curve.

Other highways also proved difficult to travel because of about an eighth of an inch of ice followed by rain.

Alvin Beckman, director of the Cass County Emergency Management Agency, expressed concern about the effect of continuous rain in the area and the prospect of temperatures again dipping below freezing.

“With rain continuing as it is, it may cause some problems further down the road,” Beckman said. “We’re already seeing pooling on the roads, but as long as temperatures hold steady we should be fine.”

Many county roads were a shiny sheet of ice this morning, making for extended drive times. Cass County Highway Superintendent Steve Easley said his crews modified work schedules to handle the storm.

“The guys came in at around three this afternoon,” he said Tuesday. “We had everybody out putting salt and sand down. But, to be quite honest, from our assessment of the rate that the sleet and rain was falling, we were losing the battle. Right now the roads are extremely slick.”

Easley added that road conditions were worse than after Friday’s ice storm.

“If we compared what we had on Friday when we woke up in the morning and saw the hanging ice, we could see what we had to deal with. But today with snow to sleet to freezing rain then sleet and back to freezing rain, it was a lot more difficult.”

Easley said crews had been pulled in for the night at 7:30 p.m. but would return to the roads at 5 o’clock this morning. He said he hoped temperatures would not drop below freezing again.

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