Frozen in place: Weather brings county to standstill

On Wednesday, Jan. 17, a water leak on Military Street South in Hamilton near the Dollar General store created a massive ice sculpture, still visible days later due to extremely low temperatures in the area.

By Luke Brantley & Kathryn “Chazz” Hirschfeld
Staff writers
MARION COUNTY — For the majority of the week of Jan. 15-19, most of Marion County was frozen in place and under an “impassable travel advisory” from the Marion County Engineer’s Office.
Put into effect on Jan. 15, at 4 p.m., the area remained under the advisory until Jan. 19, at 3 p.m. At that time, a countywide travel advisory asked citizens “to use extreme caution and travel at reduced speeds.”
With an arctic front dropping into North Alabama on Monday, freezing and below freezing temperatures were mixed with various types of wintry precipitation, including sleet and snow.
Weather forecasts had predicted the winter storm, and the possibility of days homebound, so most persons were able to plan ahead.
Besides first responders, who had no choice about being out in the inclement weather, most residents followed the directives about not traveling on the hazardous roads.
The area saw an additional 0.2 inches of rain on Thursday, Jan. 18, which helped melt some, but not all, of the ice.
Temperatures plummeted once again to near single digits Friday and Saturday nights.
Following are reports from officials in every municipality in the county, plus others, regarding the conditions and situations they experienced during the week-long ordeal.
We are greatly appreciative of the time they took to help us do our jobs, while they were still performing their jobs, and also facing exhaustion, extremely busy schedules and a myriad of ongoing duties and management activities--while still experiencing all of the difficulties of working through the event itself.

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