Public Services crews prepared for black ice after sleet Thursday

benw@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 6, 2014 

Sleet begins to cover a nearly empty northbound Interstate 185 from Fort Benning through Columbus. Early weather warnings, school and business closing helped to keep heavy traffic off of dangerous roads. 01.28.14

ROBIN TRIMARCHI — rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

Crews with the Columbus Department of Public Services will be on duty early Friday to possibly tackle black ice from sleet that fell late Thursday, a city official said.

Pat Biegler, director of Public Services, said crews are aware of possible icy conditions on the roads and are prepared.

“We’ve got everything loaded, ready to go and crews on standby,” she said.

Biegler said crews would be in around 5 a.m. when the lowest temperature is supposed to hit the area. Crews will be out to hit hot spots and bridges with sand just as crews performed last week during the snow storm.

The over night low is expected to be around 30 degrees and the area will get above freezing about 9 or 10 a.m. before reaching a high of 54 degrees.

Vaughn Smith, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, said some patchy areas of black ice are possible on roads if they aren’t able to dry off before the temperatures drop below freezing.

A mix of sleet and rain started falling in Columbus and around the Chattahoochee Valley just before 7 p.m., the National Weather Service in Peachtree City confirmed. No accumulations were expected from the system, Smith said.

“You are going to see some mixed precipitation down there, then it will be ending in the next few hours or so,” Smith said. “And that will be it.”

The sleet came from a system with cold air and moisture from the rolling in from the Gulf. “It is almost a similar situation of what happened last week but it is a lot less,” he said.

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