NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Road crews continued working through the weekend to prepare for dangerous roads anticipated as winter weather sweeps through Tennessee.
Tennessee Department of Transportation crews worked 16-hour shifts to keep up with roadways overnight Saturday and Sunday morning.
“We always prioritize interstates first and then move to primary one state routes, and then the secondary tertiary state routes,” said Rebekah Hammonds, TDOT Region 3 media relations officer.
This round of winter weather marks the third snow event TDOT has seen in a month. Hammonds said the last two storms showed how quickly snow can accumulate.
“People were already out on the road and didn’t really have a lot of time to get back home safely. And we saw so many people have to be rescued or have to abandon their vehicles on the road,” Hammonds said.
TDOT urges motorists to avoid the roadways during this storm.
“Plan ahead and try to avoid traveling during the active weather event,” Hammonds said. “If you and other drivers aren’t on the road, that just gives our drivers more space to clear the roads quicker.”
That message was echoed by the Tennessee Highway Patrol when it comes to helping with emergencies.
“We can’t drive any faster on these slick roads just like anybody else. We’re prone to crashes and sliding off in the ditch ourselves. So we need that extra maneuverability with less traffic on the roadway so we can get around quicker and faster,” said Sgt. Adam Grinder of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Sgt. Grinder asks drivers to avoid any unnecessary travel. If you must go out on the roads, he said to allow extra time and keep a safe distance. He said drivers should also prepare in case they get stuck.
If you do find yourself sliding, Sgt. Grinder said there are steps drivers can take to control their car.
“When you lock your brakes, that’s when you lose your steering ability. And once you don’t have that steering input, you’re going wherever the car and ice takes you,” Sgt. Grinder said. “So if you do start skidding, pump your brakes, don’t lock the brakes up, and steer into the direction of the skid.”
There’s no way to know how long it could take to clear roads, however, THP said people should have enough groceries to last 12 to 24 hours.