Stack of problems - - Jackson, MS

Stack of problems

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By Maggie Wade - bio| email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - With another blast of snow, possibly sleet and ice heading our way many motorists are wondering if we will have a repeat of the nightmare on the Stack from last week.

Drivers were stranded for hours last Thursday when the Stack became a dangerous sheet of ice. 

Central District MDOT Commissioner Dick Hall says he understands why some are fighting mad.

"Last Thursday if I had been on the Stack I would have been as mad as hell", Dick Hall said.

Commissioner Hall is understanding, but MDOT is not taking the blame for hundreds of stranded and outraged motorists on the Stack Thursday.

"I'm sorry it happened but blaming MDOT for that is like blaming your fire department if your house catches on fire", Hall said.

Many of the motorists were stuck for as long as 7 hours with no water, no food, and no place to use the restroom.

Some had medical conditions like Lisa Nutt of Morton.

"My blood sugar did drop just a little while ago," Nutt last week when we talked with her by phone. "I did have something that I could take to help that, but if this goes on many more hours I might have a problem."

Hall also responded to the question of why the interstate was not closed.

He says a jack knifed 18 wheeler did close the roadway and the icy conditions made it almost impossible to reach the accident and remove the truck.

"That bridge closed the instant that 18 wheeler jackknifed, that closed the bridge", Hall said.

The problem with the Stack in freezing weather is its elevation.

Crews did put down de-icing material but because of it's height and length cold air moves under the Stack causing it to quickly ice over.

The Stack is called a super elevated bridge with deep curves.

When it ices over vehicles will slide down, making the stretch at I-55 and I-20 extremely dangerous.

"You probably saw the occasion where the trooper if he had been in the vehicle he probably would have been killed." Hall said. "An 18 wheeler skidded into it and destroyed his automobile."

Hall says the Stack will be watched more closely with the possibility of ice and snow moving in again this week.

Hall also said there are 218 bridges in Hinds County alone.

MDOT has 3 dump trucks and 2 pickups to spread de-icing material.

Hall says under the circumstances crews did the very best they could.

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