Winter weather continues to bedevil drivers in South

Winter weather in the South has caused some interstate closures in Louisiana and icy conditions in other states, along with an emergency declaration in Alabama, prompting the suspension of hours-of-service regulations for some truckers in the state.

A winter storm is expected to continue to spread snow from the Carolinas and Virginia to New England throughout the day Wednesday. The heaviest snow is expected to fall across portions of central North Carolina and south-central Virginia, where 4-8 inches of snow are predicted.

Snow falls in North Carolina (Photo by North Carolina DOY)Snow falls in North Carolina (Photo by North Carolina DOY)

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Tuesday ahead of the storm.

As of Wednesday morning, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed I-49 near Shreveport and near the Arkansas state line, along with I-220 near Shreveport, due to ice on the roadways. On the south side of the state, I-10 is closed from LaFayette all the way through New Orleans to Slidell. Other closures include I-55 between I-10 and the Mississippi state line, I-110 near Baton Rouge, I-210 between Sulphur and Lake Charles, I-310 between Destrehen and Kenner, and I-610 between Metairie and New Orleans. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is also closed in both directions.

Interstates in Alabama are open Wednesday, but icy conditions have been reported on I-65 and I-85 near Montgomery, and travel is discouraged. Georgia is experiencing similar issues on I-85 southwest of Atlanta with icy patches on the highway.

Birmingham-based news station WBRC has reported Wednesday morning approximately a dozen tractor trailers were stuck trying to get over an icy hill on I-65 just north of Montgomery.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday issued a State of Emergency in preparation for winter weather entering the state Tuesday. The main impact from the storm is expected to be ice on the roadways as temperatures drop throughout the day Tuesday, according to Birmingham meteorologist James Spann. Snow is expected to fall in the state and melt when it hits the ground, then freeze soon after with temperatures dropping into the 20s as the day goes on.

Ivey’s emergency declaration suspends hours-of-service regulations for drivers providing “emergency relief” to the state in the aftermath of the weather.