Black ice on the roads caused motorists to be stranded all over the county

For the second year in a row, Mother Nature decided to hit Cleburne residents with an uncomfortable reminder that winter is in full swing. Last January, a surprise snow dump caused numerous traffic accidents and residents were stranded as the fast moving snow fell on the county. This year, we were spared the snow but hit by freezing rain, causing a layer of ice, and the even more treacherous "black ice", to strand motorists all across the county.

Cleburne County Sheriff Marty Moss reported authorities and services were assisting those affected by the ice all through the night. "This is the worst case of black ice I've seen in this county in my life," said Moss. "Deputies spent all night driving people home because we couldn't get wreckers out to retrieve their vehicles."

Reports of accidents started coming in as early as Wednesday afternoon. Accidents on Hiram Rd. caused that road to be shut down for hours as authorities attempted to clear it. "We had an incident coming out of West Pangburn where two box trucks moving someone to the area from Alabama slid on the ice and got trapped," said Sheriff Moss. "They were about 80 to 100ft apart when two cars came around the curve. One car hit one of the trucks and the other car hit the other truck."

As the night progressed, reports of accidents and stranded motorists increased. A man driving on Hwy 25 in Ida slid off the road and hit a utility pole knocking power out for residents from Tumbling Shoals to Ida. Authorities reported Thursday morning that power had been restored to those affected.

Other incidents reported by the Sheriff's Office were:

A pileup on Hwy 124 out of Quitman.

Fire trucks and crews stranded on Hwy 216

Stranded cars on Dry Mountain Rd. and Hwy 263.

18-wheeler stalled at river Bluff Rd and Pangburn road.

1-vehicle accident on Highway 5 south in the Yuba Road area.

Pangburn Road and Tater Hill, vehicle in ditch

Inside Heber, cars could be seen in ditches, including on W. Main in front of the DHS office.

Crews were out salting roads Thursday morning with much of the ice expected to melt off by afternoon. Meanwhile, schools and county offices closed for the day with many businesses either opening late or remaining closed as well.

No serious injuries were reported as a result of the many accidents around the county.