Icy roads causing strain on first responders - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Icy roads causing strain on first responders

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The boost in crashes due to slippery conditions is causing a strain on police and first responders.

"The last 24 hours have obviously been the worst for us, I mean, with the highways and the roadways throughout our parish having ice on them," said Acadia Parish Sheriff KP Gibson.

The ice is putting an extra burden on him and his deputies as they respond to an influx of stalled and flipped vehicles.

"We worked over 31 accidents in the last 24 hours, and that was just as of 1:30 this afternoon; it could have gone up. Our response times are obviously during this time going to go down a little bit," said Gibson.

And that's forced the sheriff's office to double its patrols.

"During the day, we had extra units out, working, assisting with crashes and what not, motors that need assistance, responding to calls of service and what not," said Sgt. Francis Bergeron.

While most of the ice melted by Wednesday evening, black ice remains a problem. Many people have been driving normal speed, not seeing the patches of ice that hadn't been defrosted by the sun yet.

"If you're driving [the] speed limit, 55, on the highway, you slide and lose control, and now you have a chance for greater damage," said Sheriff Gibson.

"If you have no reason to be on the roads, stay home, and of course, one of the worst things you can do is slam on your breaks on top of the ice. The best thing is just go straight through it; don't turn the wheel; don't try to maneuver it; just drive straight through it," said Sgt. Bergeron.

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