Slippery road conditions are causing massive delays and crashes throughout the Delaware Valley Sunday, leading authorities to shut down several major arteries for a portion of the morning.
Authorities issued a warning Sunday morning that multiple highways, including I-95, I-76, the Vine Street Expressway and Roosevelt Boulevard, are all treacherous, and urged drivers to stay home and avoid driving.
"The most difficult part about this is that a flash freeze like this, the moisture can freeze on contact with the pavement," PennDOT spokesman Eugene Blaum said.
Rain combined with near freezing temperatures, causing an icy glaze on area roads.
428 reported accidents & 186 aids in NJSP patrolled areas. Closures and speed restrictions remain in effect. #Icyroads
— NJSP - State Police (@NJSP) January 18, 2015
"Conditions are improving in South Jersey as those temperatures rise," said Steve Shapiro of the New Jersey Department of Transportation. "One thing to be aware of though -- flooding could be an issue on some roadways."
Four people were killed and more than 30 others were hurt in three separate crashes around the region.
Rescuers responded to the scene of a deadly pileup involving more than 50 vehicles along I-76 near the Gulph Mills exit. The crash occurred around 7 a.m. and caused a nearly a backup for nearly seven hours.
Two people were killed and several others were hurt in a crash along Interstate 476 in Delaware County, authorities said. A third deadly crash took the life of a fourth person in Gloucester County. The one-car crash occurred on Route 55 near Exit 53 in Mantua Township around 8:15 a.m., authorities said.
A chain-reaction crash on the Walt Whitman Bridge involved 27 cars, including a Delaware River Port Authority police cruiser. That bridge, along with several others between Philadelphia and New Jersey, were shut down for several hours Sunday.
By 12 p.m. all those bridges were reopened.
Along with the highways and bridges, local streets are also in poor shape. Driving should be avoided, according to multiple law enforcement agencies.
Public transit is experiencing delays too, according to SEPTA officials.
BUS: ALL service is suspended until 11AM due to icy conditions.
— SEPTA (@SEPTA) January 18, 2015
Suburban Station was also closed for about 30 minutes before reopening around 10:30 a.m. The closure was unrelated to weather.