Parts of Covington County looked like a winter wonderland Friday, as snowfall amounts most agreed were last seen in 1973 fell from early Friday until just after noon.
Sleet began to fall across the county shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday. By 6 a.m., snow reports “flurried,” flooding into her office, said county EMA director Susan Carpenter.
“Our biggest snow fall happened between 8 a.m. and the early afternoon hours,” she said. “It started out gradual and picked up quite heavily early on.”
That heavy snow virtually shut down Covington County by 10 a.m. as mail service was halted and banks closed.
Preparations for the day’s snowfall began Thursday when it was announced that all county and state government offices and all schools in the county would be closed Friday. It was also announced that all county roads would be closed to traffic beginning at midnight; however that didn’t keep residents at home and off the roads.
At 9:45 a.m., state highway officials announced the closure of all state highways in Covington County, and by noon more than 10 traffic accidents – all minor – had been reported, the bulk of which were attributed to vehicles sliding off icy roadways.
“County and state workers both were out putting sand on the major roadways, but people continued to travel,” Carpenter said.
Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson closed all city roads at 2 p.m.
Carpenter said residents were calling to report accumulation totals of anywhere between 3 to 5 inches yesterday afternoon.
“Unfortunately, there’s no way to really be able to tell just how much snow we received,” she said. “It’s going to vary so much throughout the whole county. People in Red Level reported early they were seeing snow, but the people in Florala only had a few flurries and mostly rain.”
Most of the white stuff is expected to melt today.
“We are expecting temperatures to hover right there around freezing throughout the night, but Saturday we’re looking at a high of 44,” Carpenter said. “So the snow should melt pretty quickly.”