State, Local Crews Spread Salt Ahead of Storm

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Knoxville (WVLT) - Road crews throughout East Tennessee have spent the day gearing up for the winter weather heading our way.

It may seem sunny out here right now, and you may have seen some blue skies this afternoon, but winter weather is on its way.

TDOT crews in Knox, Blount and Sevier counties are already on a 24 hour a day schedule to make sure the roads are safe for you.

"We're talking about mother nature and she'll do whatever she wants and we'll have to react once she decides what she's gonna do," says Travis Brickey from TDOT.

To get a head start on Mother Nature, 86 salt brine trucks from the Department Of Transportation spent the day spraying state roads in all 24 counties.

"Once it goes down it puts a thin layer of salt on the road and really keeps the initial winter precipitation from adhering to the road surface," Brickey explains.

The sunny, dry day Wednesday makes the brine more effective Wednesday night, when heavier precipitation is expected.

But for now, it's a waiting game and TDOT says they're ready for whatever happens.

"We'll have everyone on standby, we'll have crews ready, we'll have trucks ready," Brickey says.

The City Of Knoxville also hopes they're ahead of the game, workers spent the afternoon filling 21 salt boxes so trucks are ready to go when workers get back in Wednesday night at 11:00.

"We don't use our salt equipment that much so we're making sure it's on the trucks and all the parts are working and running," says Bob Whetsel, from the Knoxville Public Service Department.

And if snow accumulates, plows are ready and available.

"There will be some plows mounted, once again, we'll have to see what kind of event to decide whether we're gonna use them or not," Whetsel says.

So no matter what Mother Nature brings, road crews say they have your state and city roads prepared.

"We have manpower, we have equipment, we have salt and we have a plan, so we feel like we're very much ready for this," says Whetsel.

Since trucks are going to be throughout the area all night, it's important to remember to be safe if you come across one on the roads.

When they're spreading salt they need some space to lay the salt down so keep a safe distance.

And slow down, it will make traveling easier, and safer for everyone.


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