Potato spill causes fires, road closures

Published 2:46 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lake Mitchell Road (above) and part of Interstate 65 were closed Tuesday while spilled potatoes were removed.

Part of Interstate 65 South and Lake Mitchell Road in Clanton were closed after an 18-wheeler hauling a load of potatoes started five small grass fires along I-65 on Tuesday.

The Clanton Fire Department received a call at about 12:30 p.m. of the fires and put them out shortly thereafter, Clanton Police Chief Brian Stilwell said.

According to Stilwell, the fires were the result of the trailer coming apart while headed south on I-65.

“He lost his entire load of potatoes on the interstate,” Stilwell said. “There were so many potatoes, it blocked the entire road.”

The driver was able to pull over at Love’s Truck Stop on Exit 208 after the incident. No injuries were reported.

Stilwell said roads will be closed until about 3 p.m. Tuesday as city and Alabama Department of Transportation employees clean up the area.

Drivers are encouraged to use caution on the roads, which might be slick for a period of time.