More icy roads in the Shoals means a costly aftermath

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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - It's been a rough few days in terms of road conditions all over the Tennessee Valley.

Colbert County EMA officials are having to prepare for yet another expense because of severe weather.

With temperatures well below freezing through Friday evening, road conditions were the primary concern. Crews salted roads around the clock in both Lauderdale and Colbert counties. But, all the salt comes with a cost in the long-term.

"Anytime you're putting chemicals on the roads, they're freezing and thawing out, it's not good," said Colbert County EMA Director Mike Melton. "Secondary roads are the ones that really pay the price."

All that salt and ice can cost thousands of dollars in repairs down the road. Ultimately the most expensive part of the problem comes four or five months later, when the ice melts and refreezes in  cracks in the road.

"Moisture starts getting into the cracks, then you start having base failures," Melton said, "and that's the real cost of it."

Those costs are just another burden to Colbert County, thanks to severe weather. After a tornado swept through causing major damage in downtown Tuscumbia in October, they had to cover the millions in repairs.

"We'll just have to wait and see."

County leaders are hoping for the best, but urge drivers to stay off the roads through Midnight Friday. Temperatures are expected to rise Saturday, and the roads should be safe again.