Local crews preparing for potentially treacherous commute

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knox County (WVLT) With a sharp dip in temperatures predicted for tonight, TDOT crews are not heading home anytime soon.

The sun came out strong early this afternoon, but later in the day, the wind picked up and the sky grew dark.

Bud Slaton, TDOT Regional Maintenance Engineer says, "they are predicting rainfall, before the actual snowfall event. And so pretreating would actually become void once the rain washed off the salt brine."

TDOT, the City of Knoxville, and Knox County crews want to do everything in their power to prevent another scary scene like this one from last month's ice storm.

Slaton says, "a lot of accidents, what happened during that ice storm was, you can't be everywhere the same time."

Roughly 200 TDOT trucks will be out salting around ten o'clock tonight, where the snow is expected to fall.

"We're going to do everything we can to be there already out on the route, but still, when that temperature drops below 32 degrees and you've got a wet road, there's a possibility for ice.

So what about the morning commute?

Slaton says, "I'm hoping that we can have maybe not dry roads, but everything treated by morning rush hour. So a treated road is not as likely to freeze. If it begins to rain, we'll go ahead and put out some salt."

But no matter how much crews salt.

"You never know when that bridge or one area may have not been treated as well, or the rain water may have washed off some of the agent."

That's why TDOT wants all drivers to take it slow tonight and tomorrow morning.

The city of Knoxville, as well as Knox County, will have crews on standby tonight, ready to go out and salt if the snow comes down hard enough.


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