MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The City of Memphis Public Works Division will continue to work in 12-hour shifts to treat local streets following an ice storm that moved through the area overnight Wednesday.
The city said they have 7,000 tons of salt, 8,000 tons of sand and 16 trucks for this type of operation. They began treating the roads as early as Tuesday with the main focus being on bridges, overpasses and streets with inclines/declines. They said they will continue to treat the roads for the next 48 hours.
City workers are also cleaning up downed trees that fell during the storm. As of 11:30 a.m., they have received reports of 12 trees that are blcoking city streets.
The city of Memphis said it has received numerous calls about ice and limbs down across the area overnight. Ice was reported on AW Willis, East Parkway, I-40 E/Jackson, Jackson/Orchi, I-240 E/ Shady Grove, I-40 E Germantown, Walnut Grove/White Station, Walnut Grove/ I-240, Airways/Dunn, Norris/ I-240 and I-55/ Riverdale.
WREG crews reported ice being a problem along Jackson Avenue near Warford, especially on the elevated portion of Jackson. There was a crash at that location and the overpass was so icy that emergency crews had to park nearby and walk to get to the victims. At least one person was taken to the hospital.
After the victims were transported, the road crew had to clear up some of the ice before they could remove the wreckage.
According to the Memphis Police Department, officers have responded to 29 crashes since 4 a.m. Thursday.
Road conditions in Arkansas were also treachous with several accidents being reported, some of them including 18-wheelers.
Around 10:30 a.m., Mississippi County deputies blocked off I-55 near exit 63. Both directions were blocked after an 18-wheeler clipped an ice-covered power line and broke two utility poles.
WREG’s Quametra Wilborn was stuck in the traffic.
The conditions were so bad in fact that the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office said several big rigs had pulled over on I-55 in need of assistance.
Another accident was reported on I-40 in West Memphis, and two Forrest City officers were injured in a weather-related accident.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation did apply a mixture of salt and brine to the streets.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation also treated bridges with salt and slag overnight. They reported icy roads and bridges in Desoto, Quitman, Coahoma, Tunica and Marshall counties.
In Desoto County, MDOT said ice is present from US Highway 61 from the Tunica County line to the state line. Interstate 69, Interstate 55 and Interstate 269 are also icy.
The Desoto County Sheriff’s Office said Church Road between Horn Lake Road and Tulane Road was closed at one point due to downed power lines. It has since been reopened.