Nearly 50 crashes reported in Louisville as crews continue clearing icy roads

Updated: Feb. 11, 2021 at 7:27 PM EST
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Calcium chloride was added to salt to help treat Louisville's icy roads.
Calcium chloride was added to salt to help treat Louisville's icy roads.(WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Icy conditions on Louisville roads continue to create dangerous driving conditions Thursday.

Between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. Thursday, Metro Emergency Services received reports of 10 injury accidents, 32 non-injury accidents, 24 downed trees, 25 downed wires and three traffic light outages.

TRIMARC cameras captured a number of crashes in Jefferson County, including a semi-truck that jackknifed on I-71 North, blocking the left lane of traffic around 7:30 am.

In the past 24 hours, Metro Public Works crews treated roads three different times and began their fourth pass Thursday. On the first pass, the crews dump salt on the road and then spread sodium chloride to turn hard ice into slush. On Thursday, crews plowed through the slush and snow that ended around 4 a.m.

“A road may see like it’s not been treated when in reality it was treated earlier,” Metro Public Works spokesperson Sal Melendez said.

The amount of salt used by public works has also increased, switching from 400 pounds a lane mile to 600 pounds per lane mile, in order to clear roads faster, Melendez explained.

90% of the roads were covered with ice and snow by noon Thursday. Crews will continue to work 12-hour shifts through Friday, depending on the weather.

Over 100 KYTC crews are also plowing and salting roads around the clock in WAVE Country. Contractors are working through rush hour while “snowfighters” are continuing to operate in all counties until at least midnight Thursday.

“With not just snow but freezing rain and sleet, it was a multifaceted event and our crews out working as fast as they can,” KYTC District 5 spokesperson Stephanie Caros said.

While filling her car with gas Thursday, Carty Mersch told WAVE 3 she was preparing to drive from Louisville to Cincinnati and was pleased with the progress on roads so far.

“I say it’s fine, I was surprised by the were clear as quick as they were, starting to get clear, seeing the salt trucks made a big difference. I think they did a pretty good job really,” she said. “I don’t mind it at all. It’s everybody else I worry about.”

Metro Public Works officials are urging drivers to stay off the roads if possible and to keep clear of snowplows.

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