After the white stuff falls: Blount cleans up after winter storm
A combination of snow, rain and ice Thursday night caused traffic accidents, downed power lines and closed schools in Blount County.
The amount of snow residents received varied across the county.
Instead of being high in the mountains, the most snow Thursday night was concentrated in the Seymour area of Blount County, where there was reportedly some 6 inches of accumulation.
“The farther you got toward Knoxville, the worse it got,” said Blount County Highway Superintendent Bill Dunlap.
The National Weather Service at Morristown received reports of accumulation in Alcoa at 1 inch, and measurements of between 1 and 1.4 inches in Maryville.
A shaded area of Burnett Station Road near I.C. King Road had so many cars off the roadway that crews could not clear it out Thursday night, Dunlap said.
There were also power outages in both areas, in addition to Pickens Gap and Maples roads, said Alcoa Electric Supervisor Steve Biggars. Those outages were all scattered and affected 67 customers in the area, Biggars said.
All power outages the department experienced across Blount County were due to the combination of rain and snow, which weakened the ground and led to downed trees across power lines. Outages began occurring at around 4 p.m., Biggars said.
The areas most affected by snowfall in Seymour included Burnett Station, Chapman Highway, Keener Road, Ellejoy Road and Jeffries Hollow Road, said Bill Dunlap.
There was some accumulation on Montvale Road, Flats Road, part of Butterfly Gap and Louisville and Mentor roads. A trend toward more accumulation was noticed the closer one got toward Rockford, said Dunlap.
The snow started tapering off toward Townsend. There was a small amount of accumulation on Carr’s Creek and East Miller’s Cove roads, he said.
Biggars said a large power outage also occurred on East Miller’s Cove Road, with 227 meters affected, on up into the Saddle Ridge Road area, where another 34 residents were without power.
Highway crews were out all morning Friday salting and plowing the roadways. The last of those trucks returned to the garages at around 2:30 p.m., Dunlap said.
When the snow started falling Thursday, temperatures started to rise before falling to freezing, allowing part of the snow to melt, Dunlap explained.
Townsend Police Chief Ronnie Suttles said there were several cars off Wear’s Valley Road and up toward the Park, but little snow problems in Townsend.
Blount County Sheriff’s Office deputies worked 13 accidents between 2:30 p.m. and midnight Thursday, only two of which involved any real injuries, said Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Marian O’Briant. There were likely some other minor accidents as well.
There was only one accident reported in Alcoa, and one in Maryville in which a driver lost control of a vehicle and was temporarily stranded in a U.S. 321 median.
The Alcoa Electric Department also had several additional power outages around the Jones Bend Road and Deer Run Drive areas of Louisville near Peninsula Hospital. There were 68 customers affected in that area, Biggars said, as well as another 154 affected in the Rankin Ferry Loop area of Louisville.
There were also scattered outages in the Sevierville Road area. Outages started occurring at around 4 p.m., with a total of 1,392 customers affected between that time and around 2 p.m. Friday when the last problems were resolved, Biggars said.
Bill Dunlap noted that all traces of rain and snow problems were essentially gone by Friday night, save for a small amount of water left on Grey Ridge Road. He said crews would salt what was left on the roadway so it wouldn’t freeze overnight and would hopefully be finished pumping out the rest of the water today.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to get that done (today),” Dunlap said. “It’s just a little skin of water left on it, not much.”
No river flooding
Little River is also in good shape. The river is still at the high stage, but it is not flooding, Ronnie Suttles said at noon Friday.
The river is beginning to clear up from the muddy appearance it has had all week.
Once the mud is out, “the river will be crystal clear. You will be able to see every rock. All the trash and debris will have washed out,” Suttles said.
There has not been a high-water level along Little River in 18 months, he added.
According to National Weather Service forecasts, there won’t be another chance of precipitation until the end of the week. Both Saturday and Sunday are expected to be sunny, with highs near 52 and 50 degrees, respectively.
Monday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high near 45 degrees. Chances of precipitation won’t return until Friday, which brings with it a 30 percent chance of rain.