La. DOTD ready for possible wintry conditions - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

La. DOTD ready for possible wintry conditions

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

With the possibility of freezing rain and sleet reaching north Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced Saturday that department staff is prepared to deal with winter weather and icy road conditions.

DOTD emergency personnel continually monitor weather forecasts and are prepared to mobilize crews as needed in the event the state is threatened by severe weather conditions. In addition, DOTD crews have checked supply inventories and are prepared to apply sand and salt over any affected bridges and roadways, to remove fallen trees from the roadway, and to close any roads as needed.

Dynamic message boards along I-20, I-220 and I-49 are being utilized to keep motorists advised of changing weather and road conditions.

DOTD urges motorists to use extra caution when traveling on roadways during hazardous weather conditions and stay off the roads whenever possible. DOTD will do everything possible to keep Louisiana's highways and interstate system open in the event of snow and will prioritize the maintenance and opening of routes based on traffic volumes.

During winter weather conditions, motorists should drive slowly and carefully, and avoid driving while distracted. Always allow for extra driving time, reduce speeds when visibility is low, and make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles. Also, look out for black ice---a thin, transparent layer of ice accumulation that can be visually hard to detect on bridges, overpasses, off-ramps and in shady spots. As always, DOTD reminds motorists to buckle up and refrain from drinking and driving.

Motorists can obtain information regarding road closures by visiting the 511 Traveler Information Web site at www.511la.org<http://www.511la.org> or by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. Real-time traffic and road condition updates are also available at DOTD's "Way to Geaux" smartphone application. Information regarding road closures is also available by contacting DOTD's Customer Service Center at 1-877-4LA-DOTD (1-877-452-3683). The center is open 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The KSLA Stormtracker 12 forecast is calling for showers to continue Saturday afternoon and will continue moving east at around 10 miles per hour. Mist and drizzle will continue for the rest of the day and temperatures will drop to near and even below freezing in most of the area.

The best chances of wintry weather comes Sunday night into Monday morning, where it appears areas along I-20 and north see a decent chance of rain mixed with sleet. Areas north of I-30, maybe a few snowflakes.

We will get above freezing by midday Monday, so the wintry weather will transition to all rain again.

Keep in mind that temperatures will be near freezing, slightly above, or slightly below on Monday morning. That means that this weather scenario is changing constantly, and just one degree can make all the difference as this system passes.

Copyright 2013 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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