Icy roads mean dangerous driving south of Ontario
If you’re planning on driving south of the border today, watch out for closed roads and slick conditions as there are widespread reports Thursday of frozen roads from North Carolina to Florida.
Ice-slicked roads created treacherous driving conditions that caused a fatal accident and delayed school openings across a swath of the country, mainly in the South, while the East Coast braced for more snow.
In metro Atlanta and north Georgia, icy conditions prompted road closures a day after slick surfaces caused hundreds of car crashes in the area.
Ice also covered roads early Thursday in Louisville, Ky., and in parts of Tennessee.
Those who ventured out had to allow time to clear ice that coated nearly everything exposed to the outdoors from cars to walkways to the sides of buildings.
“I’m just chipping away,” said Tim Olson of Louisville, who was getting the ice off his truck Thursday morning. “It looks slick. I hope it isn’t too bad.”
In Missouri, the freezing rain began Wednesday night and continued into Thursday morning with the Missouri State Highway Patrol reporting numerous accidents.
At one point Wednesday night, sections of three St. Louis-area interstate highways — 70, 44 and 55 — were closed because of so many accidents. Schools in states including Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri, North Carolina and South Carolina either closed for the day or planned to open late.
In Ohio, plows were out in counties near the Ohio River. And a spokeswoman for Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport said airlines were experiencing weather delays and cancellations.
Meanwhile, snow was also expected later in the day in Washington, Philadelphia and parts of New York state, Virginia and West Virginia.
Western New York was getting a respite from heavy lake-effect snow storms but forecasters said central parts of the state would get pounded for another day.
Weather-related accidents shut down Interstate 81 northbound in the Syracuse area, state police said.
In Florida, farmers around the state were still assessing how cold weather earlier this week affected crops.
Tropical fish and strawberry farmers in central Florida reported some losses Wednesday, but the full extent of the cold damage won’t be known for a few weeks.
Citrus growers were more optimistic, saying they avoided a citrus freeze. Corn and bean growers in South Florida were less optimistic, with some farmers reporting losses.