Mayor Bell: Extra equipment brought in to treat roads - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Mayor Bell: Extra equipment brought in to treat roads

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Road crews sand 6th Avenue in Birmingham on Tuesday. The mayor says more help is on the way. Source: Mayor William Bell Road crews sand 6th Avenue in Birmingham on Tuesday. The mayor says more help is on the way. Source: Mayor William Bell
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

As thousands of students wake up in schools Wednesday morning, Mayor William Bell said extra help for the roads is here from other parts of the state.

"I talked with the governor's office. They are in the process of sending heavy equipment that was shifted down south for the predicted snow event from Montgomery on southward. Those vehicles are rolling into Birmingham and surrounding areas," Mayor Bell explained to Fox6 viewers in a live interview on Good Morning Alabama Wednesday.

Public safety officials spent the night on the roads, rescuing stranded people on interstates and secondary roads. Hoover officials estimate they have rescued about 100 people that were stuck on Interstate 65 overnight.  

Birmingham Public Works employee are still treating the roads with sand.  Mayor Bell said not all roads have been treated.  He said the focus is on the major thoroughfares and areas around hospitals.

Hundreds spent the night away from home. We are hearing stories about people sleeping at their offices, in their cars, hotel lobbies and homes of strangers. An estimated 600-700 people spent the night at the Boutwell Auditorium, while hundreds more took shelter at local churches.

Hoover School Superintendent Andy Craig said 4,500 students spent the night in Hoover City Schools Tuesday night.

In Homewood, dispatch operators took over 1,100 calls for help overnight. The Homewood Police Department Facebook page says there were about 150 people stranded who were picked up and taken to warming stations around the city.  Officers transported numerous kids from schools.

Roads are gridlocked most everywhere and they are covered in ice.  Do not travel unless it is an emergency.

As of 6 a.m., 5,000 Alabama Power customers were without power. Most of the outages are in the southeast part of the state.

FOX6 News is live on air with continuing coverage of the winter storm and response. Watch online at www.FoxAlabamaLive.com and on the WBRC News and Weather apps.

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