No major wrecks in Riverside during snow
by Elsie Hodnett
Jan 30, 2014 | 580 views |  0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Riverside Police and Fire departments coordinated efforts to assist motorists starting with Tuesday’s snow.

“There weren’t a lot of issues,” Riverside Fire Chief Tim Kurzejeski said.

Riverside Police Chief Rick Oliver said Riverside did not have any major wrecks.

“Traffic continued to flow pretty smoothly all things considered on U.S. 78 and after about 2-3 p.m. Tuesday, everyone was pretty much where they wanted to be. Everybody tended to stay off the roadways, which was what they were supposed to do. We did call some officers in to handle the calls but everything worked out well.”

Kurzejeski said there were stranded motorists and stuck people and vehicles.

He said there were slick spots on Depot Street, north of city hall, and issues on U.S. 78.

“We used the rescue vehicle with a winch to help with vehicles that went off the roadway,” he said. “There were no major accidents or incidents that were weather related. There were multiple wrecks, but no injuries at all.’

Kurzejeski said the Riverside Storm Shelter was open and was a part of the evacuation plan for Interstate 20, but it wasn’t needed.

“We did assist with people who had medical conditions or were completely stranded and got them to an intersection where they could get picked up,” he said. “And we transported one patient to the hospital due to road conditions for the safety of everyone involved. It was just a tremendous cooperation and response effort between police and fire.”

Mayor Rusty Jessup said several cars slid off into ditches and one area in particulate on Depot Street was hazardous.

“Traffic was pretty slow over the Interstate 20/U.S. 78 intersection, so there weren’t wrecks on the bridge,” he said. “There were several wrecks on 78 between the I-20 bridge and KOA Road, mostly single car wrecks—people who slid off the road into a ditch.

“One of the hummers we use in emergencies was used to transport people late Tuesday night to Haven Circle,” he said. “The hummer slid into a ditch about 9:30-10 p.m. but nobody was hurt.”

Jessup said the city put sand in some places and had to detour a portion of Depot Street all day Wednesday.

“It was an area right in front of First Baptist Church that had an uphill curve that stayed constantly in the shade,” he said. “It was black ice and we had to detour around it all day Wednesday.”

Jessup said he is truly thankful that no one lost power.

“I want to thanks to our street, fire and police employees who stayed on duty the whole time with medical calls and transports,” he said.

Jessup said Thursday there are still some issues of bad ice on McKessie Street, Haven Circle and Holly’s Lane.

“We hope those will be cleared up by tomorrow,” he said. “We hope people will continue to use caution as we have in the last couple of days. I think it probably won’t be until late tomorrow or Saturday until we are completely back to normal.”

Riverside City Hall reopened at 9 a.m. Thursday and will open at 8 a.m. today.

Contact Elsie Hodnett at ehodnett@dailyhome.com.