Blast of winter weather and arctic air has area road crews on alert


CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Snow and cold temperatures led to school closures and delays around the region.

Road crews are again preparing for another busy night.

Many of the roads were clear for drivert, but in Carter County, the highway department is keeping an eye on 700 miles of roads, including secondary roads.

People across the Tri-Cities woke up to a blanket of snow.

“We started getting reports of snow, somewhere around 5:30 a.m. and 6 o’clock hour. At that time, that’s when we started getting trucks up on the snow routes,” Jonathan Powel said.

Powel is a supervisor for the Carter County Highway Department. He said this is very mild for what is to come.

Powel said, “We still have crews out. They will be throughout the day, and into the evening hours until we feel that the roads are safe.”

Ahead of this winter, his crew has about 6,000 tons of salt chat-mix ready to clear the streets.

Powel said, “Most of the snow we had was in the higher elevation: 2200 and higher in elevation. Roads seemed to be spotty covered at this time. At this time, most of the roads are clear.

With a minimal impact this morning, the City of Elizabethton street and sanitation department is making sure the city is not caught off guard.

“Lucky, where the roads were so warm yesterday, that it really didn’t stick to the roadway a lot,” Jeff Marlow said.

Marlow is a supervisor for the City of Elizabethton Street and Sanitation Department. He said his crews are ready within a moment’s notice.

“If we get like two inches of snow or so, then we get like scraping, and then go back and salt the roadways, because the salt has a hard time melting through all that snow and stuff. We’ll scrape it all of the road and then come back and salt it again,” Marlow said.

Although the snow is expected to not cause many problems tomorrow, crews will be monitoring the roads throughout the night just to be sure,” Marlow said.

Tuesday night, Carter County Schools cancelled school for Wednesday, as school officials anticipate icy road conditions to develop overnight.

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