Snow wreaks havoc in Pell City, St. Clair County
by David Atchison
Jan 28, 2014 | 4608 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Snow falls on Pell City Tuesday morning.
Snow falls on Pell City Tuesday morning.
Morning snow showers wreaked havoc in Pell City and St. Clair County, stranding motorists, as well as students at local schools.

“We are sheltering in place,” Christa Bryant, the federal programs coordinator for the Pell City School System, said shortly before noon Tuesday.

She said the School System had planned to release students at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“The weather deteriorated too quickly,” Bryant said.

She said school buses could not get on the roads.

Patrice Kurzejeski, assistant director for the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency, said motorists were stranded throughout St. Clair County and there were numerous wrecks throughout the county.

“All roads are impassible at this time,” Kurzejeski said before noon Tuesday.

She said the St. Clair County EMA issued a Silver Alert, warning people to avoid all travel in St. Clair County.

St. Clair County offices closed at 11:30 a.m.

Kurzejeski said a mixture of snow and ice accumulated across St. Clair County on numerous roadways.

“Both major thorough fares and lesser traveled roadways are becoming extremely hazardous and in some cases impassable,” she said.

Kurzejeski said the most dangerous areas are elevated roadways, bridges and overpasses.

“The county Emergency Management agencies request that travel be limited to emergencies only for your safety and the safety of first responders,” Kurzejeski said.

She said the winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 a.m. today.

Kurzejeski said the National Weather Service in Birmingham issued a winter storm warning for ice, sleet and snow.

The winter weather advisory is no longer in effect, she said.

A winter storm warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice are expected.

Accumulations of snow were predicted at 2-3 inches.

In north Talladega County, public agencies closed early Tuesday morning due to the snow, and will likely open up later than expected or stay closed today.

According to Talladega City Schools Superintendent Doug Campbell, city schools closed at 11 a.m., but no final decision had been reached regarding Wednesday classes. Campbell said he would make an announcement either late Tuesday afternoon or early Wednesday morning.

The situation was similar for city offices, according to city manager Brian Muenger. City roads were closed at noon on Tuesday, and the sand trucks had been deployed.

“The traffic was starting to dissipate, but we were still having some issues with trucks sliding around” as of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. “I haven’t made a decision yet about tomorrow morning, but I’d say there’s just about no way city offices will be open on time. We’ll make a decision on the city’s web site and Twitter around 5 a.m.,” he said.

City administrative personnel were dismissed about 11 a.m., but emergency responders and public works crews remained on duty.

County and state offices were also closed by lunchtime Tuesday, and it remained unclear when they would reopen.