SCSO: Stay off the roads today

By KATIE MCDOWELL/General Manager

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is asking drivers to stay off the road today.

Capt. Ken Burchfield of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said patches of ice will remain on the roads until tomorrow afternoon.

“The sun today should clear a lot of the roads but that can give people the sense that it is OK to resume regular driving and then they hit a bridge or valley with ice on it,” he said in an email.

The Shelby County Emergency Management Agency also issued an alert on Wednesday at about 7:30 a.m. asking motorists to avoid using the roadways until further notice. Shelby County Highway Department crews are working to clear the roads. 

Today, sheriff’s deputies will continue checking abandoned cars for people, re-unite people with their families and respond to life-threatening emergencies. They are also working to open at least one lane on all roads.

“Our priority is to get the roadway open so emergency vehicles can pass,” Burchfield said.

Burchfield said the sheriff’s office is considering options for moving abandoned cars that are blocking the road. One option is using wreckers to open and move the car a short distance until the owner can return.

The sheriff’s office has been swamped with phone calls for assistance since the snow storm began on Tuesday morning, although Burchfield did not have an exact number.

Burchfield encouraged drivers to stay off the roads and not take any unnecessary risks.