Hazardous road conditions made travel extremely treacherous in Delaware County Tuesday night, according to officials.
Although back roads throughout the county were icy, Country Road 250 was especially bad along with a road in the Lakemont Shores area, said Delaware County Emergency Manager Robert Real.
Real said county workers erected barricades close to the Hickory Grove Fire Department Tuesday night after several cars slid off the road in the same area around 7:00 p.m.
“Five cars slid into the ditch one right after the other. They never hit each other, though,” Real said.
He said no one was injured.
He added that there was a similar situation in Lakemont Shores around the same period of time.
“We blocked it off because it was too dangerous,” he added.
Real said that although the barricade remained in place through the late night and morning hours, the road wasn’t officially closed. He explained that the barricade was more of a signal to drivers that there were treacherous conditions and they could drive on at their own risk.
Real reported that officials tried to get sand out to the road, but that Delaware County District 1, of which Hickory Grove is a part, had run out of sand.
“District 2 had some sand, but by the time they could get it over here it would have been too late,” Real said.
District 1 County Commissioner Ken Crowder said he has been trying to get salt for the roads for two months and that some is finally on the way
“We ran out of sand Tuesday,” Crowder said.
He said county trucks were on the way to Kansas Wednesday morning to pick up 20 tons of salt.
“By the weekend all three of our salt sheds should be full,” Crowder said.
However, he said, salt is extremely hard to come by and companies are charging more for it than they every have before.
“I have bought lots of salt for $9-$12 per ton,” Crowder said. “This salt is costing $70 per ton.”
According to Crowder, a Hutchison, Kansas salt mine he contacted told him that all its salt was being shipped to Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and the Dakotas.
He said he usually likes to use a mixture of 25 percent salt and 75 percent sand to melt snow and ice on the roads, but that this year he will be forced to use only about 18 percent salt in the mixture.
Drivers on secondary roads are encouraged to use extreme caution.
“The key to driving on ice is to go slow enough that you never have to brake,” Crowder said.