EBR schools, LSU, others will stay closed Wednesday

A winter storm warning continues Tuesday evening throughout the Baton Rouge area as sleet, freezing rain and snow stretched into the evening hours.

The Baton Rouge area isn’t expected to see much snow as a result of the storm. Most of the snowfall is limited to areas in southwest Mississippi and the portion of southeast Louisiana that’s north of the Interstate 12 corridor.

Baton Rouge only has a chance of snow before midnight followed by a chance of snow flurries before the precipitation ends. Any accumulation of snow will be less than an inch, according to National Weather Service forecasts.

Temperatures are going to continue to drop overnight from 25 degrees at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to a low of 19 degrees by Wednesday morning.

The clouds should clear up Wednesday and the National Weather Service is calling for a relatively balmy daytime high temperature of 39 degrees.

There were few reports of traffic accidents Tuesday when compared to the estimated 200 wrecks tied to icy conditions last week as more people stayed off the roads this time around. Officials urged continued caution as dipping temperatures could lead to more ice on roadways Wednesday.

“There will be a lot of things happening overnight that could create more problems on the road,” Mayor-President Kip Holden said late Tuesday afternoon. “Unless you have to go on the highway, do not go on the highway.”

Holden’s chief of staff, William Daniel, said he thinks people learned from last week’s storm.

“It caught a lot of people by surprise,” he said. “This time around, it was well published — the fact that these roads would be in difficult driving conditions, and people listened.”

The roads will continue to be an issue overnight as the temperatures are expected to stay below freezing.

“The road situation is a very fluid one,” said DPW director David Guillory. “There are multiple public safety groups working to deem whether roads are safe right now.”

Guillory said the best way for motorists to find out whether roads are closed is through the BRgov.com website, which is being constantly updated.

Guillory said crews began prepping Baton Rouge roads for ice at about 2 a.m. and had managed to keep open or reopen several bridges and roads through the use of a glycol-based de-icing fluid, rather than using the more-common salt-based technique.

“Salt has its own problems and at some point it becomes ineffective, as well,” Guillory said. “We’ve learned a lot in the last 48 hours and have been very successful, so I think we’re going to stick with it.”

Advocate staff writer Rebekah Allen also contributed to this story.