EFFINGHAM — With more ice and sleet than snow falling, road conditions are extremely hazardous throughout Effingham County today.
In Effingham, .05 inch of ice and .2 inch of sleet were reported this morning and a half inch of sleet and ice in Watson. Crews are working to clear county highways, but secondary roads are still very slick, according to Effingham Sheriff's Deputy Tim Forehand, who has been on patrol since 6 a.m.
"If you are going to travel today, be very careful and expect delays," he said.
Although numerous accidents were reported overnight on interstates 57 and 70 when the storm began, Forehand said there have been no accidents reported since 6 a.m. Deputies who responded to the overnight accidents are no longer on duty, therefore, details currently aren't available.
Forehand warns several areas in the county are very treacherous for vehicle travel.
"The road going south out of Teutopolis is covered in black ice," said Forehand, of the road commonly known as Teutopolis-Elliotstown Road. "Also, Route 40 from Teutopolis to Effingham is still very slick."
According to Effingham County Engineer Greg Koester, who coordinates snow and salt trucks for the county, three trucks have been out since last night spreading sand and road salt on hills, curves and intersections. Crews currently are holding off spreading additional materials until later today when another storm surge is expected..
"We don't want to put down a lot of material and then plow it off if it snows," said Koester.
While checking county roads, Koester reported that it "seems like about half an inch of freezing rain and sleet has fallen."
Koester warns that unless the temperature reaches 20 degrees and there is sunshine, the ice won't melt.
"Hopefully, Mother Nature will help us out," he said.