Tow trucks were called in Friday to help clear miles of semi trucks and vehicles (video in the player above) on Interstate 65 in Indiana after a winter snowstorm caused nightmare travel conditions and numerous crashes.
Aerial video of I-65 showed what looked to be hundreds of semis on the stretch of closed roadway.
After tow trucks removed the vehicles, plow trucks on Friday afternoon began salting the roads, allowing northbound lanes to slowly begin reopening.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Glen Fifield urged motorists to drive carefully and at a reasonable rate of speed even as the interstate opened again to traffic.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
"The roadway looks like it's relatively dry, but that's slush," Sgt. Fifield said. "It's thick, compacted slush ice. That looks dry, but it's actually not dry. … It's about a half-inch thick, so it's going to take some time for the salt to get through."
All lanes on I-65 northbound at mile marker 213.7 were closed Friday at 4:34 a.m. after a semi lost two steel coils and ran off the road, according to Sgt. Fifield, causing an 8-mile backup.
"It's been a rough 24 hours for us," Fifield said. "We continue to have crashes and jackknife semis and our troopers are very busy, and our particular area of concern is on I-65."
The backup continued hours after the crash, as state police urged drivers to avoid traveling north on I-65 for their morning commute.
The following photo from police shows the traffic at 6:16 a.m. Friday:
Though highways continued to be cleared, blowing snow could cause a potential hazard to drivers throughout the day, officials warned.