DOTD: All state-maintained roadways in EBR deemed impassable due to weather
BATON ROUGE - On Monday (Feb. 15) morning, residents across East Baton Rouge Parish are waking up to the sounds of falling ice, loud in the otherwise quiet early morning hours, and resembling the sound of breaking glass.
The area is in the grip of a winter storm, marked by freezing temperatures and rainfall that have slickened multiple roadways with ice.
In an effort to keep area drivers safe, Louisiana's Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has closed a host of major roads in south Louisiana. A list of such closures is available to view here.
DOTD crews have also been working to keep passable roads in as safe a condition as possible.
WBRZ's Rae'ven Jackson braved the weather to update viewers on what's happening outside during the ice storm.
Positioned on LA 190, near 'the old bridge,' Jackson found that many drivers were forced to stop on the side of the road and remove ice from their windshields.
— Rae'ven Nicole Jackson (@RaevenJack) February 15, 2021
DOTD issued the following news release Monday morning, updating residents on road conditions during the winter storm: "The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development advises motorists that all state maintained roadways in East Baton Rouge Parish have been deemed impassable due to winter weather conditions.
There has been significant accumulation of sleet and ice on bridges, overpasses, and roadways resulting in travel conditions that are considered to be inadvisable. With additional winter precipitation expected to impact the roads over the next few days, DOTD is strongly urging motorists to avoid ALL unnecessary travel, including on interstates that remain open.
While routes have not been barricaded and marked as ‘CLOSED’, it is the intent of DOTD to warn motorists that roadway conditions have deteriorated and travel could be hazardous. If travel is absolutely necessary, DOTD urges drivers to adhere to the following safety tips:
Remember that it’s unlawful and unsafe to drive around a road closed barricade for any reason.
Also, beware of black ice - a thin, transparent layer of ice accumulation that can be visually hard to detect on bridges, overpasses, off-ramps and in shady spots. As always, DOTD reminds motorists to buckle up and refrain from distracted driving or driving under the influence."
Those who must take to the roads due to emergency situations may want to take the following suggestions into consideration:
-Give yourself four times as much time to get where you need to go
-Use side streets which hopefully, should be empty
-Drive slowly, no more than 10-15 mph
-Begin braking four times sooner than usual and don’t make sudden moves
-Don’t slam brakes if sliding… gently pump to a stop (which should be feasible if you allow a large amount of leeway between vehicles and stops)
-Keep a “to go” kit in your vehicle. The kit should include something to provide warmth and water, just in case you are stranded for a lengthy period of time.
For the latest on traffic conditions in East Baton Rouge Parish and surrounding areas, follow @WBRZTraffic on Twitter.
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