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Snow Creates Winter Wonderland and Dangerous Roads

It's a winter wonderland in parts of Northeast Louisiana on Tuesday, but not so wonderful on the roads. Drivers struggled to navigate roadsin parishes south of Interstate 20
Iced over streets in Caldwell Parish (Alanna Quillen)
Iced over streets in Caldwell Parish (Alanna Quillen)
Frozen fountain in downtown Columbia (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
Frozen fountain in downtown Columbia (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
Work-release inmates built a snowman at the Caldwell Parish courthouse. (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
Work-release inmates built a snowman at the Caldwell Parish courthouse. (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
A snowy path in Olla, La. (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
A snowy path in Olla, La. (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
CALDWELL PARISH -- It's a winter wonderland in parts of Northeast Louisiana on Tuesday, but not so wonderful on the roads.

Snow and ice made a dicey combination on the roads early Tuesday.

"I've done seen two in the ditch already being pulled out," said Clarence Tomlinson, a Columbia resident, who has lived there for 35 years and has never seen the roads so bad in town. "Very slow and very careful, so we don't hit nobody and hopefully nobody hits us."

Snow blanketed parishes south of Interstate 20. Highway 165, south of Columbia -- shut down early Tuesday morning.

"Started having trouble on the hill here, cars couldn't get up it, couldn't get down. So, we just had to shut it down," said Sheriff Steve May with the Caldwell Parish Sheriff's Office.

Transportation crews are in full force alongside local and state police -- to clear roads and help troubled drivers.

"We've had a few weather related crashes, really in Franklin, Tensas, and Caldwell, where that's been the most ice," said Trooper Albert Paxton with Louisiana State Police Troop F.

Many took it slow on the roads, especially on Highway 165 through towns like Grayson, Olla and further south.

"The wind blew us into the turn lane. It was a big patch of ice we hit and it scared the living daylights out of me," said Columbia resident Edwin Harris.

Others didn't take it as slow on the roads, which local authorities say is not safe. Sheriff May said they worked at least 20 accidents on Tuesday.

"Driving too, fast, You have to slow down driving in this kind of weather," he said. "You might be the best driver in the world, but the guy driving next to you might not be."

State police say they're going to continue to monitor the conditions on the road Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, and keep their crews out -- until the road dangers are gone.

"Don't slam on your breaks. Ease off the accelerator and turn into the skid," advised Paxton.

The sunshine later in the day melted the snow and ice into slush. Authorities said they're concerned about the hard freeze tonight, where much of this water may ice back over again on the roads.

"If it does freeze again tonight, we're going to have a worst shape than we had early this morning," said Sheriff May, advising that folks should still take precautions Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. "We're not used to the ice and snow. I don't think people are used to driving in this kind of stuff."

Despite the commuter chaos, snow makes for beautiful scenes in Caldwell and La Salle parishes, such as a frozen fountain in Columbia and a snow covered path in Olla.

And while the frozen fun continues, others hope a warm up is on the winter horizon.
 
"One day it's warm, one day it's cold...It's just crazy out here," said Harris. "Ears burning, it's cold, bring the summer back, I don't like this.
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