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Winter weather continues to engulf Franklin County

The winter weather that rolled into Franklin County early this week is still going strong, with freezing temperatures keeping road conditions dangerous until the end of the week.

Another round of snow and freezing rain swept the region from Wednesday afternoon into Thursday, adding to existing icy road conditions.

The Alabama Department of Transportation and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency have been strongly encouraging motorists to stay off the road for all non-essential travel through Friday. Their caution has been echoed by local law enforcement and first responders in Franklin County, who have continued to urge people to stay off all roadways.

“Franklin County has received several inches of heavy, wet snowfall overnight,” the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office noted in a Facebook post Thursday morning. “This will of course, contribute to the treacherous road conditions. Please do not travel unless it is an emergency. All of the county roads will remain impassible until the ice dissipates throughout the morning. The main roadways have received a heavy coating of mixed snow and sleet, which will cause them to be slick and dangerous as well.”

According to the FCSO, ALDOT is working to make roads safe, with at least one lane of traffic in each direction on primary four-lanes being passable. The majority of two-lane roads still remain impassable.

“If at all possible, please stay home!” the FCSO urged. “Hopefully, the temperatures will continue to rise enough throughout the day today to allow access to travel without dangers! Again, please put your safety first and do not risk driving on icy roads.”

Wednesday night’s accumulation came on top of lingering accumulation from the first few days of the week.

“Temperatures have not recovered today, which has resulted in little to no improvement in them,” the FCSO noted in a Facebook post Wednesday. “The possibility of additional snow and sleet overnight may cause them to become even more hazardous. Waterloo Road and Highway 56 are both extremely slick and dangerous. Deputies’ patrol cars are sliding on the ice while trying to respond to calls. One deputy has already wrecked on Highway 56. Thankfully, there were no injuries. Please do not travel unless it is an emergency.”

“Roads will quickly deteriorate this evening,” the Russellville Police Department posted to its Facebook page Wednesday night. “If you do not need to be out, please stay at home.”

The Franklin County Emergency Management Agency has continued to share updates through social media as well, keeping followers up-to-date on the continuing weather situation.

Cancellations and closures have been one consistent result of the ice and snow accumulation.

The USPS announced a temporary suspension of delivery but had returned to service Wednesday. Many churches canceled their mid-week Bible studies Wednesday.

Franklin County Schools, Russellville City Schools and Northwest-Shoals Community College have been closed all week, with the closure continuing at least through Thursday. Closure decisions are being made daily.

The Franklin County Courthouse and Franklin County Health Department have also announced closures through Thursday, along with restaurants, offices and retail locations across the county.