County under ice storm warning; road chief says, 'Everybody stay home, enjoy it'
By Joel Davis | (email@example.com)
The freezing rain advisory is no longer in effect. During a warning, severe weather conditions have already begun or will begin within 24 hours and people should immediately take precautions.
Highway Superintendent Bill Dunlap said at 8:37 a.m. that all his crews were out in the field. “It’s beginning to show signs of slickness in the shaded areas. We’ve got all our trucks out. We’ve running our routes and putting material on them.”
Dunlap had some advice for drivers. Don’t. “Everybody just stay home and enjoy it. It will make what we’ve got to a whole lot easier and safer.”
The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at 1741 Triangle Park Drive, Maryville, that will be available to stranded motorists and local residents who have lost power. It currently has a total of seven emergency shelters available in five counties: Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Jefferson and Knox Counties.
Freezing rain, possibly mixed with sleet, will spread over the region from the southwest. Ice accumulations between one-quarter and one-half inch will be possible.
So far, according to Blount County E911 dispatch, a Tennessee Department of Transportation salt truck turned over on East Lamar Alexander Parkway across the street from Rocky Branch Road this morning. A Blount County Sheriff’s Office cruiser hit a wall while trying to respond to that wreck, but the deputy was not injured. Otherwise, there have been some reports of vehicles sliding off roadways.
Precipitation will begin to move across the Cumberland Plateau and southeast Tennessee and will spread over the entire region. The precipitation will taper off in general by Friday evening.
Icy conditions will create hazardous driving conditions. Accumulating ice may also pull drown trees and power lines in some areas, mainly in sheltered valleys where the freezing rain may linger a bit longer.
An ice storm warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of ice accumulations are expected, which will likely lead to downed power lines and falling tree branches. It will also make travel very hazardous or impossible. Travel is strongly discouraged. If travel is unavoidable, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
All Blount County and city of Alcoa offices are closed today due to the inclement weather.
Maryville Municipal Building will open at noon.