Icy roads create dangerous driving conditions

Icy roads create dangerous driving conditions

PINE BELT (WDAM) - Tuesday night's snow has turned into slush and ice on the roads, creating dangerous driving conditions throughout the Pine Belt.

Emergency managements agencies are urging drivers to stay off the slick roads unless absolutely necessary. The Mississippi Department of Transportation said iced-over bridges also remain a concern.

First responders have been busy responding to weather-related crashes. In some areas, vehicles that slid off the roadway have been abandoned by their owners until conditions improve.

Powers Fire and Rescue in Jones County reported that the eastbound lanes of U.S. 84 have been closed just east of Eastview Drive to recover an 18-wheeler that wound up in the roadside trees.

In Lamar County, Mississippi 42 at Epley Road closed because of ice and will remain so through Wednesday night.

Also, motorists were warned to exercise can because of  conditions on Interstate 59 between Exit 51 (Purvis) and Exit 59 (U.S. 49-U.S. 98 cloverleaf).

MDOT had reported hazardous conditions on the U.S. 98 ramp to Interstate 59, U.S. 49 between Campbell Loop and 31st Avenue, and Interstate 59 between the Mississippi. 589 and  U.S. 98 exits.

Problems also were reported this morning on the Interstate 59 bridge over the Bouie River, where southbound traffic had been slowed to one lane after an incident involving two 18-wheelers.

In Hattiesburg, police closed off Westover Drive at Plaza Drive because of dangerous driving conditions.

Road crews were busy overnight and Wednesday morning. In Lamar County, crews treated the roadways with salt, but ice remained a problem. In Hattiesburg, MDOT workers piled salt on the U.S. 98 bridge over Interstate 59, allowing it to reopen.

Public transportation officials also adjusted to the icy roads. Hub City Transit buses are running abbreviated routes, rolling until 6:30 p.m.  Wednesday, road conditions permitting.

WDAM is working to keep you up to date with the latest road conditions and closures. Updates will be added to this story.