Gulfport police teams with MDOT to improve safety on icy roads

Gulfport Police help M-DOT spread sand on frozen roads
Gulfport Police help M-DOT spread sand on frozen roads

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Officials across the coast have been stressing that people stay off the iced over roads unless absolutely necessary. Now that some of the roads are thawing, emergency responders and road crews are continuing to make safety a priority.

Gulfport police Sergeant Brandon Clark says that communication is the key to keeping drivers safe.

"We've been communicating with MDOT, giving them conditions of the roads and they've been quick to respond and get people out to help us," said Clark.

Along with keeping a lookout for wrecks, the police are also helping MDOT treat roads with sand and salt brines.

"We provide traffic control. We've got a lot of extra units working to facilitate that, and we just make it safe for the road crews out on the road as well as the public driving on them."

For those that do choose to drive, it proves to be quite challenging. Most say that it is extremely easy to lose control of your vehicle because we're not used to this kind of weather in South Mississippi.

For people that have come from out of town, the weather's been one headache after another. Almetha Thomas came to Gulfport from Las Vegas to visit her sister. Now, her trip has turned out to be a little longer than she expected.

"We've been trying to leave ever since Tuesday morning and we are stuck. Cannot get out, the airport's closed," said Thomas.

She said that driving in the meantime hasn't been easy, and that they haven't been able to get over 15 mph.

Driving that slow is exactly what Sergeant Clark and other officials say is a great way to avoid collisions. He says that overall, there haven't been as many wrecks as he expected.

"We're very impressed with the city's acknowledgement of the weather. They've slowed down," Clark said.

People should still be extremely cautious when driving, especially over bridges. According to Clark, you need to slow down even if you see sand on a bridge, because it only provides a little bit of traction.

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