NEW ORLEANS – “A nightmare" -- That's how Matthew Newman described his attempt to drive out of state Friday night.
Icy conditions meant major stretches of interstates and highways were shut down. Now similar conditions are expected again on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.
“Our public works department is coordinating,” said Jefferson Parish President John Young. “We have sand trucks ready to go.”
Across the metro area, officials are gearing up for the next round of winter weather. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is keeping a close eye on the forecast.
“We have our equipment down here in the southern part of the state. We're going to supply de-icing material as needed,” said Rodney Mallet, DOTD communications director.
Officials say they've learned important lessons from the last cold snap.
“Monday morning we're going to bring everybody together with DOTD to see if there's a way we can be ahead of the game next time,” said Col. Jerry Sneed.
Officials say they'll do everything they can to be proactive ahead of this next cold snap but elevated roadways and bridges are still bound to get icy. If conditions become too dangerous, DOTD will close roadways.
“We had a lot of accidents on overpasses and bridges,” said Ralph Stone, assistant manager at Green Acres Towing in Mid-City.
Stone said Friday night was the busiest his company has been since Katrina. Now, his drivers are getting ready for what could be another busy night.
“We've maintenance our trucks and prepared for the situation,” said Stone.
State Police Troops L and B say they worked a combined 150 wrecks in the metro area during Friday’s freeze. And they're warning drivers to stay off the road Tuesday night.
If you absolutely have to drive on Tuesday night or overnight Wednesday, make sure you plan to take alternate routes if interstates or bridges are closed, and maintenance your vehicle ahead of time.
You can also call 511 or log onto the State Police Facebook page. It is monitored and police can answer your questions when you post them.