NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Middle Tennesseans are urged to prepare to adjust travel plans for Christmas with the bitter winter blast in our forecast.  

Depending on how forecast models shake out, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) could start prepping roads with brine as early as Wednesday. The department has 281 trucks on standby for Middle Tennessee counties and is prepared to cover more than 11,000 miles of road. 

The Montgomery County Highway Department is also gearing up to cover 750 miles worth of county highways. The department has 18 trucks ready to respond, along with tractors designed to help move snow in subdivisions.  

Assistant Highway Supervisor Richard Teasley explained how conditions in Montgomery County can change rapidly. 

“It can change pretty quick. It can be forecasted one to three, and we may end up dumping three to six,” Teasley said.  

County roads can also pose greater challenges with fewer cars on the road and more narrow lanes. 

“When there’s more traffic sometimes it’s kind of nice because they kind of help keep it beat down as you put the salt in but normally they don’t have a lot of traffic on the rural roads,” Teasley added. 

If you plan to travel during the holidays, Teasley said it’s best to travel either before accumulation hits or wait until crews have had a chance to clear the roads.  

“It’s usually better when we don’t have a lot of traffic on the roads, that’s with everyone, with the city and the states, so we can clear the roads quicker. That way we’re not trying to dodge cars that may try to spin out in the road and it kind of slows everything down as far as clearing roads.” 

Teasley said his crews will be on standby to start treating roads roughly an hour before precipitation hits, to prevent salt from washing off the roadways before the snow starts to fall. He said the amount of sun after snowfall will help determine how quickly the snow will melt, and the sun helps salt more effectively melt accumulation. 

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“Just be patient and take your time, it’s not worth an injury. They’ll eventually get there, it may take them an extra hour, just do some preplanning. I think they’ll be fine if they just take their time and just preplan it and think it out. and don’t try to rush because that’s usually when you end up in the ditch,” he said.