Counties to the north and west bore the brunt of the winter storm that chilled north Alabama on Monday. But even though Cullman County largely escaped the mass power outages and impassable main highways of its neighbors, the storm brought Arctic temperatures that prompted many local restaurants and businesses to voluntarily close on Tuesday, as the mercury never climbed out of the teens.
Though major roads like U.S. Highways 31 and 278 were clear in the wake of Monday’s ice, local residents seemed to mostly stay home on Tuesday, with municipal offices and local schools shut down. The courthouse and other county offices that had closed on Tuesday were expected to reopen today, and county sanitation trucks will run their regular routes. The Commission on Aging will not be delivering home meals today, though, due to icing on rural county roads.
A steady light snowfall dusted some areas of the county with enough precipitation to cover the ground in white early Tuesday, even as the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast more snow could be on the way before week’s end. The NWS Huntsville office on Tuesday advised caution ahead of a second storm system forecast to arrive in north Alabama Wednesday afternoon.
Emergency officials said the storm had spared Cullman County from major road closures or widespread power outages, even though some lightly-traveled and tree-shaded rural roads would likely remain treacherous until temperatures rise enough to melt away the ice.
“Until the temperatures go up and we have some more sunshine to melt it off, a lot of the secondary roads are still going to be an issue,” Cullman County Emergency Management Agency director Phyllis Little said Tuesday. “A lot of those roads are going to still be slick, especially where there’s a lot of shelter from the wind to keep the ice and snow pack from blowing off.”