Ice storm spreads the freeze

Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 10:20 AM.

The Carrabelle and St. George Island bridges were ordered closed within hours, and at 9:42 p.m. Ham sent out word that all bridges were closed.

At Tuesday morning’s county commission meeting, County Planner Alan Pierce commented on the storm, noting that 16 cars, including one of the EOC trucks, were trapped on the Gorrie Bridge by the freeze. He described the event as a “flash freeze. Because it had been so cold, for so long, when the temperature dipped below a certain point, all of the bridges froze. Every bridge in the county froze in 15 minutes. It was almost like you could see the ice form.”

Later, around midnight, Roberts and Roberts, formerly CW Roberts, came in with Transfield, a contractor with the Florida Department of Transportation, and sanded the Carrabelle Bridge, and then moved west to sand both other bridges.

The county commission Tuesday thanked Roberts and Roberts for brining truckloads of sand to clear the bridges during the early morning hours after the freeze.

Around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, law enforcement was escorting traffic across the bridges with marked patrol units, and the bridges officially opened around 9 a.m.

“Everything seemed to operate as expected,” said Ham. “Notifying the public is demanding and we get a lot of influx of calls to the dispatch center with people asking. That’s why we try to implement the Code Red to let everyone know.”

Ham said there were about 7000 calls made on the new system, plus text mobiles and email notifications. “If no answer, we’ll do one recall,” he said.

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