The threat of winter weather rang true this morning as residents battled slick, slushy streets on their morning commute – those who attempted it anyway.
Schools and businesses across north Louisiana closed after sleet, freezing rain and snow fell Tuesday evening and overnight creating nasty driving conditions not just on bridges but on city streets, parish roads and state highways.
"When I came to work this morning, there wasn't really anybody out," Minden police chief Steve Cropper said. "That's a good thing because there's still some slick spots out there."
Cropper reported no major crashes or incidents relative to the winter weather, though police worked a few minors when the sleet began to fall late Tuesday afternoon.
Webster Parish sheriff's deputies worked several minor incidents involving vehicles sliding off the road Tuesday evening, but no crashes have been reported since 5:30 a.m., today.
All roads within Webster Parish remain open.
The area was under a winter storm warning until 11 a.m., and a small portion of the parish was under a flood watch.
The high today is 45, but temperatures will drop back into the mid-20s tonight and may cause a refreeze of this morning's winter precipitation. Thursday, the mercury will move into the mid-50s.
The threat of ice and snow started Monday night, and though it was a threat that Mother Nature did not deliver, that did not stop residents from flocking to grocery stores to stock up in the event of power outages.
"Typically when winter weather hits, we do see people stocking up on basic things and canned goods," Rebecca Sanders, director of public relations for Brookshire's, said. "Peanut butter is one of the quickest things and bread, lunch meats, things people can keep in an ice chest but not have to cook. I think the biggest fear people have is the electricity will go out and people can't cook."
Walmart shelves had dwindled to just a few loaves of bread and bottled water Monday night.
Personnel coordinator Kay Lacasse said there was also a mad dash on candles, flashlights and batteries.
"We basically make sure we have it on the shelf ready for the customers," Lacasse said. "As far as employees, we make sure we're prepared and staffed to be ready to serve our customers and associates the best we can."
City, parish and state crews were prepared with sand and salt trucks as the storm hit Tuesday.
"We ask sheriff's deputies to look for slick spots or if someone calls in, the deputy will be dispatched to go verify and we'll send a truck on out to sand it," Webster Director of Homeland Security John Stanley said. "We try to put eyes on it, and send where they really need it the most."
Less than 300 people outside the Minden city limits were without power this morning. Entergy crews expect to have restored all outages by 10 p.m., tonight.
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