Icy weather closes roads, schools in north Ala.


FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) -- Icy spots on bridges are causing travel problems in north Alabama, with interstates and other highways briefly shut down until temperatures rise above freezing.

The state Transportation Department reported slick roads in five counties in northwest Alabama this (Friday) morning, and rush-hour motorists had to detour off Interstate 20/59 in Birmingham to avoid patches of ice.

Northwest Alabama received as much as 3 inches of snow that turned into slush on roads overnight. Elsewhere, rainwater left over from storms froze on roadways.

Dozens of schools delayed opening as much as two hours to allow time for the ice to thaw.

The National Weather Service said many parts of Alabama received more than 2 inches of rain from early Wednesday through Thursday night.

Birmingham recorded 3.8 inches of rain, giving it a surplus of more than 2 inches for the year compared to normal averages.

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