Ice-covered roads make for difficult commutes; many stay home

Ice-covered roads make for difficult commutes; many choose to stay home

Posted:
The rain, snow and sleet froze into sheets of ice. By Friday morning, many backroads were dangerous to drive. The rain, snow and sleet froze into sheets of ice. By Friday morning, many backroads were dangerous to drive.
Ryan Richie of Fountain City slammed into a tree in his front yard Thursday night after getting home from work. With the help of friends, he worked to free his truck. Ryan Richie of Fountain City slammed into a tree in his front yard Thursday night after getting home from work. With the help of friends, he worked to free his truck.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Below-freezing temperatures Thursday night turned snow and sleet into sheets of ice that covered roads all over Knoxville.

That led to nasty driving conditions, prompting a number of area businesses to open later than normal Friday, delaying the morning commute.

Locals tell 6 News that gave them extra time to tackle the icy roads in their neighborhoods.

While many of the main roads in Knoxville were salted and shoveled overnight, a lot of side streets were not, leaving people with tough roads to travel Friday morning.

For some, just getting down their driveway was hard enough.

Ryan Richie of Fountain City slammed into a tree in his front yard Thursday night after getting home from work.

"It was about two and a half hours for usually a ten-minute drive. I got all the way up my driveway and slid half the way back down. Unpredictable Tennessee weather. Ya gotta love it," said Richie.

Due to the ice, Richie and his friends had a rough go of it, trying to pull his truck out.

"It's all ice, as you can see on the driveway. Don't have any rock salt or anything to melt the stuff down so we're just trying to shovel it out, doing what we can do," said Richie.

Next time, he'll be a little more ready.

"This is actually our first winter that we've had in this house. Next year I'll definitely be prepared. We'll salt the whole driveway," said Richie.

Other drivers creeped along side roads Friday, trying not to slip and slide too much, but it was difficult with ice blanketing the streets.

"The hills in our neighborhood are gorgeous, but they're a bit treacherous in this weather. Today, mostly people are just staying home," said Susan Driskell, who lives in North Knoxville.

Another Fountain City man said he decided to stay off the roads after seeing his neighbor crash trying to get down their street.

"It ended up in one of the neighbor's yards. That told me not to bring my car down," said Jack Macomber of Fountain City.

Macomber took to walking to check on road conditions throughout the day.

He hoped Friday's sunshine and relatively higher temperatures would make conditions better soon.

"It's gonna be critical. If we didn't have the sun to melt it, then nobody would be able to get anywhere," said Macomber.

Because for people like Richie, getting to work is important, but not as important as getting there and back safely.

"Hopefully collect a paycheck, go to the bank and get back home," said Richie.

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