December 2017 Snow

Snow St. indeed on a snowy scene in Oxford. Photo by Stephen Gross / The Anniston Star

As the sun set on a snowy Northeast Alabama on Friday, some thousands were without electric power, and roads were closed throughout the region.

The temperature was hovering right at the freezing mark just before 7:30 p.m., with lows expected to dip in the 20s overnight, according to to the National Weather Service. A few light flurries continued to fall in some places.

Police said Friday evening that closing roads earlier in the day helped reduce the number of wrecks. Anniston police Chief Shane Denham said his officers have handled the snow situation well.

“Roads are pretty good right now but expected to freeze shortly,” the chief said around 5:30 p.m.

Oxford police Chief Bill Partridge also warned motorists to be wary of driving after sunset and warned of the possibility of black ice.

Calhoun County Sheriff’s deputies worked throughout the day to take nurses to work at hospitals around the county, Sheriff Matthew Wade said.

State Trooper Cpl. Jimmy Harrell said that troopers at the Jacksonville post have worked 23 wrecks in the region.

“Most of them were without injuries,” he said. “Those with injuries had minor injuries.”

Harrell also said he expected conditions to get worse throughout the night.

“We expect road conditions to quickly deteriorate as temperatures begin dropping,” he said. “We expect hazardous conditions to remain until mid-morning tomorrow, when temperatures rise. We ask drivers to stay off of the roadways; however, if you have to travel do so with extreme caution.”

More than 5,000 Alabama Power customers in Calhoun County remained without electricity just after 4 p.m., according to a spokeswoman for the company’s Eastern Division. As many as 15,600 in the company's eastern division had been without electricity earlier in the day.

Jacki Lowry wrote by text message that more than 3,700 of those remaining customers without power were in Anniston, while another 1,500 were in Jacksonville.

“Crews have been out all day and will be working into the night to restore power as quickly and safely as possible,” Lowry wrote. Some customers might not have service restored until sometime Saturday, she said.

Temperatures below freezing made driving hazardous in some areas and restricted movement, she said, which made power restoration slow.