SNOW STORM: Feeling no brunt in Blount

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

BLOUNT COUNTY (WVLT) -- Spring will soon be here, but what may have been this winter’s last punch, probably felt more like a smack most of the region.

Usually when big winter storms blow through, it’s Sevier County that finds itself digging out from under the snow.

At the same time, neighboring counties such as Blount will have just a few road problems with the amount of snow that has fallen.

On Saturday the roles were reversed, because just when neighbors were starting to think it was spring, Maryville was transformed into a winter wonderland.

While weekend joggers were not held up, the snowy weather did create come travel problems in the higher elevations.

"There were some problems in the Chilhowee Mountain area, at the very top of it, which is normal for Blount County,” said Bill Dunlap, the superintendent for Blount’s highways. “If we get snow, that's basically where we have to go first."

After a couple hours, Blount County's roads were clear, but neighbors near the Top Of The World community still had enough of the white stuff left over to enjoy.

"I saw a lot of snow at our house,” said Ariana Clark, who was visiting from Florida. “There was a whole bunch on our cars."

“I figured I'd show them a little Tennessee snow and weather,” said David McMahan who had friends in town.

Down the road, a snowman was under construction by a first time builder.

"I had never done it before, so I said, ‘what they hey...let's go ahead and do it," said Zarren Sipe, who did admit that the carrot nose would not stay in place.

Saturday’s snowfall was a little out of the ordinary because Sevier County’s roads stayed mostly clear.

In fact, county highway chief Jonas Smeltzer said he didn’t even have to use a single plow truck.

"If it came in like they were talking about after midnight, then we would probably have been busy all night,” said Dunlap.

Some of the major roadways in the Smokies, like Foothills Parkway East and West, as well as Newfound Gap Road actually had to be closed because of the snow.

On the brightside, the winter weather will allow Ober Gatlinburg to open up for its final day on Sunday, thanks to around an inch of fresh new snow.

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