Freezing temperatures and slick roadways caused dozens of traffic crashes Sunday night, and police are asking residents to stay home if they can.

Temperatures dipped below freezing Sunday evening as light snow fell in areas of McLennan County, according to the National Weather Service. The wintry weather and pathchy fog led to police being called to dozens of crashes along Interstate 35 and several overpasses and bridges throughout the evening, Waco police Officer Garen Bynum said.

"City roads are wet, but they aren't too bad," Bynum said. "We are having a lot of (traffic) issues on basically all the overpasses and bridges."

At about 7 p.m., police were called to the overpass at southbound I-35 and north Loop 77 when nine cars were involved in a crash. Bynum said one of the nine cars involved was a patrol car. An officer stopped to assist with traffic and was exiting his car on the interstate when an oncoming motorist slid into the patrol car.

Bynum said the officer was not hurt in the crash. No serious injuries were reported from crashes late Sunday evening, but Bynum said he encouraged anyone who did not have to be out to stay at home.

"There have been wrecks up and down Waco Drive, along the Twin Bridges and every major overpass you can think off," he said. "Bridges and overpasses are freezing over."

Bynum said police closed portions of I-35 and Loop 77, near the overpass because of dangerous conditions.

Small amounts of snow fell in portions of the city, causing additional problems for motorists. Temperatures are expected to fall to 20 degrees Sunday night and into early New Year's Day, the National Weather Service reports.

Temperatures on New Year's Day are expected to reach 30 degrees with wind chill values between six and 16 degrees. North winds 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph are also forecast in McLennan County.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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