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|Travel advisory for forecasted winter weather|
Beginning tomorrow (Wednesday), weather forecasts indicate a strong possibility of another winter storm for the northern portion of Louisiana. This winter storm is projected to bring with it a mixture of rain, sleet, snow and freezing temperatures.
As observed in our most recent winter storms, the wet precipitation on the roadway can freeze and create "black ice," a thin, nearly invisible coating of ice that forms on paved surfaces during low temperatures. In addition, the rain/snow can cause bridges and overpasses to ice quickly, particularly in the evening hours when temperatures are below or near the freezing mark. This type of weather pattern can be dangerous for motorists, as most are not accustomed to driving in these conditions.
Louisiana State Police urges motorists to make safety their top priority and be mindful of the latest weather and travel conditions before deciding to hit the road. Motorists are strongly encouraged to stay off the roadways until the storm passes and driving conditions improve. However, if you absolutely have to travel during this anticipated winter storm, Troopers offers the following advice:
* Make sure your vehicle is prepared for the trip and in good working order (tires, fluid levels, battery, windshield wipers, etc).
* Have a survival kit: emergency first aid kit, blankets, jumper cables, high-energy or dehydrated foods, flashlight with extra batteries, extra (charged) cell phone battery, emergency flares, and bottled water.
* Allow yourself plenty of travel time to reach your destination.
* Ensure that all occupants are properly buckled and children are secured in the appropriate child seat.
* Slow down and adjust your speed according to the weather and roadway conditions.
* Use your head lights at all times to increase visibility.
* Do not use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
* Use extra caution on bridges, overpasses, and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first.
* Do not disregard or move barricades which are in place for your safety.
* Refrain from aggressive, impaired, and distracted driving, as these driving behaviors coupled with icy roadway conditions could produce fatal consequences.
State Police will be actively patrolling all roadways and assisting motorists. If you should have vehicle problems, be sure to stay with your vehicle, as freezing temperatures can be life-threatening. If bridges/overpasses accumulate ice, the Louisiana State Police will continue to work closely with the Department of Transportation and Development to take appropriate measures.
If you experience difficulties or witness hazardous situations while on the highway, notify your local State Police Troop office by dialing *LSP (*577) from your cell phone. For road closure information, motorists should dial 511 or visit www.511LA.org.