Truck drivers waiting out icy roads in Dale County

By Carolyn Brewster

Published 01/29 2014 06:32PM

Updated 01/29 2014 07:51PM

The roads in Dothan have greatly improved throughout the day but our biggest issues were out of Dale County. U.S. 231 near Ozark was a mess of cars and trucks trying to get through icy bridges…Most of those cars were either held up for a very long time or they were forced to just go home or in the case of truck drivers, just wait.

"I’ve been driving 28 years and this is my fifth time being shut down but the first time in south," said Winston Navarrete, a truck driver stranded in Ozark.

Rain, sleet, and snow all that combined in one night made some very icy conditions in the Wiregrass. bridges were the worst, many being shut down and eventually sanded.

"It's not thawing out pretty much everything has frozen over on the hills. Can’t get any traction going up the hills No traction going up the hill," said Kenneth Parent, a truck driver.

The area just north of Ozark was shut down for most of the day, causing a long line of cars and trucks...many of them, forced to turn around. Leaving truck drivers with very few options.

"I know we'll be here till tomorrow. I’ll stay in my truck and watch TV and just keep up with the weather and see when they’re going to open the roads.” said Navarrete.

He says police told him to tell other truck drivers passing through that they too need to wait.

"Well in my mind you know, I thought it can’t be that bad; news people and weather people make it worse than it’s going to be then we get here and it’s like oh, they weren't kidding with us," said Navarrete.

"I've been here since 4PM yesterday. It’s too unsafe to drive and I don’t want to put myself in that danger," said Parent.

But there is something at stake if they stop.

"It costs us money. Whenever our wheels aren’t turning, we’re still not making money. This is our down time and we don’t get anything for our down time. I probably miss out from anywhere from $600-$800 just for the 24 hours.” said Navarrete.

But in these conditions, paycheck or not, they will wait. Crews have been working on the bridges throughout the day and they'll continue to do so throughout tonight. The roads in Dale County will remain closed except for absolutely necessary traffic until that ice melts.

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