(WJHL) — With winter weather forecast to hit the Tri-Cities region on Christmas Eve, the Tennessee Department of Transportation is preparing to keep the roads clear.
Winter Storm Warnings will go into effect Thursday for most of the region as heavy snowfall, high winds, and icy roads are possible.
Because rainfall is expected ahead of the wintry precipitation, there isn’t much TDOT can do at the moment to prepare the roads, as the rain will wash the salt away. However, the agency is still planning for the winter storm.
“Right now, in terms of what our plans are, we’re still formulating those plans in terms of when we’re bringing in crews, when they’re going to head out to their routes and that’s something that we often have to adjust as the weather forecast changes as well,” said TDOT spokesperson Mark Nagi.
Nagi says crews will begin treating the roads once the rain lets up. Still, the safest thing to do during wintry conditions is to avoid traveling altogether.
“The best advice that we can have for folks, is that if they don’t have to be on the roadways, to stay off the roadways,” Nagi said. “Being at home is the safest place that they could be, it also gives our crews the extra room that they need on our interstates and state routes to do their jobs effectively and most importantly, to do their jobs safely.”
The latest Storm Team 11 forecast calls for two to four inches of snow accumulation in the lower elevations and three to seven inches in the higher elevations. Wind gusts up to 80 mph are possible in the foothills and mountains.