Sevier County Good Samaritans

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Sevierville (WVLT) -- While a warm-up may be on the way the hope for higher temps didn't prevent Sevier County from spending Sunday dealing with icy roads near the mountains. Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford shows us some tourists stuck in the snow and locals lending a hand.

It's a dangerous situation you hope you'll never be in. Many trucks were seen sliding out of control today on Locust Ridge road.

It's as slick as I've seen it and I've lived here my whole life," said Mac McCarter, a man playing good Samaritan with his tractor. "I'm pulling 'em out, trying to."

McCarter says he pulled out more than a dozen drivers on Sunday, and they just keep coming.

"A lot of 'em don't know nothing about snow, the tourists, you know, and it's just extra slick."

And it's not just the out-of-towners.

"You see the four-wheel up there? He's lived here all his life."

Gary Therman works for the Sevier County Highway Department, and he chalks up the stuck cars to under-estimating by drivers.

"They don't realize it is that slick until they really get on it," Therman says.

The Highway Department dropped more than 300 tons of salt this weekend, and that's the most they have used for one snow so far this year.

"In the past day I've probably covered 60 miles on off roads." he said.

Those lesser known roads are the ones that give many tourists trouble.

"Most of the back roads are in pretty back condition, especially in the shady areas." according to Jonas Smelcer, Sevier County's Road Superintendent. "We have so many over night rentals and today, the vast majority of our phone calls are from people that have come here for the weekend and are stuck in a cabin somewhere."

Often times however, it is best to be stuck inside rather than on the ice.

"If they would stay home till we get the roads cleared, you'd be all right," Smelcer said. "But a lot of them take the chance and get out and they should not."

Sevier county has about eight trucks out salting Sunday night and into Monday morning. As the snow melts, they say that's when they may run into more icy conditions.


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