No snow, but ice still a worry for Lake City drivers

Winter storm leaves wet roads that could freeze overnight

LAKE CITY, Fla. – Bridges and roads were able to stay open Wednesday in Lake City despite dropping temperatures, but residents are still concerned about possible icy conditions Thursday.

Most of the roadways remained wet Wednesday afternoon because the sun never really came out. The worry is that the water will turn to ice and make for some dangerous driving conditions overnight and into the early morning. Police are asking people to stay off the roads if they can. 

SLIDESHOW: Winter weather plows into Florida and Georgia

Trees, signs and structures were covered with icicles Wednesday, but all of it melted away once the rain stopped. 

Depending on your perspective in Lake City, either fortunately or unfortunately, there was no snow, no sleet and no freezing rain. But there were some power outages leading to some people being left in the cold.

At the highest point, Clay Electric had about 5,000 customers without power, many of those in the Lake City and Columbia County area. 

Traffic lights were out, leading to headaches on the roadways.

Marty Smith was one of many who hit the road Wednesday morning, treating the colder than normal rains almost like any other day. But Smith saw a lot of people making traffic much more dangerous than he expected.

“You’ve got some people that really aren’t paying attention to the lights and don’t give courtesy, which you should. Let one go before the other one. That way it keeps (you) from having an accident,” Smith said. “It’s all right if you know how to drive in it, but if you don’t, you better stay home.”

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Most of the power was restored by the afternoon.

Justin Ritch said he thought he was getting away from the cold by being in Florida.

“I just left Kansas and Missouri from the cold spell. I was making fun of my mom about, 'I get to go to Florida,' so I had to call and eat crow this morning,” Ritch said.

Others thought seeing icicles on their trees was worth putting up with the colder weather.

“It wasn’t too bad. I had a couple of branches come down in my backyard, but it was kind of pretty. A winter wonderland,” Chris Candler said. “A little bit different than what we are used to. We are used to hurricanes and that kind of thing, not ice storms.”