This morning’s rush hour was a
wild one around the area as motorists braved unusually icy driving conditions. While ODOT crews were out overnight treating state highways, city
crews were not called out until 6:15. County and township roads were untreated and hazardous for the morning drive.
But even roadways, sidewalks and
parking lots that had been treated last evening were iced over –
thanks to a combination of freezing runoff from yesterday’s heavy rain and some overnight flurries, sleet and freezing drizzle.
By the time city crews were out, dozens of motorists
were having trouble negotiating the Putnam Bridge and main thoroughfares. Crews
made considerable headway as the morning hours passed.
Several wrecks were reported, and
police had trouble getting to some of them, including an extremely slick
Glendale Road. Officers needed a four-wheel drive vehicle to access a two-car
crash with no injuries on Laramie Road on Harmar Hill.
One serious crash occurred this
morning, and it affected hundreds of motorists.
A Marietta police officer was
traveling across the Interstate 77 Ohio River Bridge to access a minor crash
on an off ramp to Marietta when came upon a multi-vehicle crash on the Interstate
bridge at 6:45 AM. One of the vehicles was on fire and both northbound lanes
were closed for an hour, resulting in a major traffic backup in West Virginia.
After calling for help from Williamstown,
the Marietta officer managed to put out the car fire with an extinguisher.
Williamstown and Wood County officers arrived a few moments later, as did
Williamstown paramedics. No more information was available at the time of this posting.
Several other wrecks have been
reported in the area this morning, mostly of the fender bender variety, but
keeping police, dispatchers, street crews and wrecker operators very busy.