Concrete Splatters Across I-10; Interstate Closed For Two Hours

A yard of concrete doesn't sound like much. But when it's splattered across I-10, it's enough to ruin the morning commute. Wednesday morning a concrete truck overturned between Cedar Lake Road and I-110. And it created a nearly two hour mess.

D'Iberville Fire Chief Gerald Smith orchestrated the concrete spill cleanup.

"Pull engine one up to the middle, let's wash the concrete up to the right," he told his assistant.

Moments later, another hose was washing down the mess. Wednesday's call was not the typical rescue call for D'Iberville firefighters. Kevin Leidigh was hosing down concrete, not flames.

"Normally we're used to wrecks and stuff. This is a big mess," he said.

A big, soupy mess caused by a yard of concrete, and 3,000 gallons of water that seemed to be raining on five miles of idle traffic. Leidigh noticed the traffic snarl behind him while he was spraying the concrete.

"We was trying our fastest. But we could only go so fast with what water we had," he said.

Investigators say traffic hit a roadblock when the driver of a concrete truck swerved to avoid debris. A Harrison County sheriff's deputy said the driver was a trainee for Gulf Concrete. When the truck flipped on its side, gooey material oozed onto the interstate, and all three lanes on the eastbound side of I-10 were closed.

Chief Smith immediately called his city's public works department.

"We got a back hoe out here. We had to use the back hoe to scoop the concrete off and basically wash it down real good," the chief said.

From the initial 7:23 am call until just before 9:00, D'Iberville's fire team pushed the concrete toward the interstate's center median before it hardened. When the final fire truck pulled away almost two hours after the initial accident, I-10 reopened, and traffic slowly splashed through the puddles created by the morning mess.

All three eastbound lanes were back in operation by 9:10 am.