Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 6, 2014

Slippin’ & sliding

Sunday weather causes 22 calls about wrecks or stranded motorists

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — A strange mix of thunder, sleet, freezing rain and snow played havoc with drivers in Henderson County on Sunday.

Henderson County Sheriff’s Office reports show the dispatchers received a flurry of calls after the county was placed under a severe weather alert at 3:16 p.m. Over the next four hours, the switchboard took 22 calls concerning wrecks, and many others involving motorists stranded on the slush and ice.

 Several of the wrecks were initially called in as major accidents, but the Texas Department of Public Safety reported no fatalities during the period.

Motorists on busy State Highway 31 slowed to a crawl as the wintery mix came down. On the stretch between Trinidad and Malakoff, drivers crept at a speed of about 20 miles per hour due to the slick road. Several vehicles were off the road, and one had rolled over on its side.

Inside the Malakoff City limits, Police Chief Billy Mitchell said his streets were almost wreck-free with just one minor wreck. Mitchell said drivers were taking it easy on the slick roadways.

The procession ofcounty wrecks began shortly after 3 p.m. on County Road 3441, on Farm-to-Market Road 1616 at 3:39 p.m. and eight minutes later on State Highway 31 near Murchison.  The next report, on State Highway 19 North, was at 3:51 p.m.

  Other wrecks were reported on U.S. Highway 175 east of Athens, on Farm-to-Market Road 317 and in Hidden Hills Harbor on Cedar Creek Lake. Most of the reports were on State Highway 31, ranging from Chandler to Trinidad.

In Athens, the slushy streets were free of accidents, but at 3:59 p.m. Athens Police Department and Fire Department personnel responded when a tree fell on a house in the 800 block of Prairieville Street.

The roads remained slick well into Monday, causing delays and closures to schools, offices and businesses.