Deep freeze in East Tennessee closes schools, makes roads slick

Deep freeze in East Tennessee closes schools, makes for slick roads

Posted:
The snow that fell in East Tennessee Sunday night and Monday morning left behind a blanket of white that led to school and business closings as well as some tricky driving. The snow that fell in East Tennessee Sunday night and Monday morning left behind a blanket of white that led to school and business closings as well as some tricky driving.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The snow that fell in East Tennessee Sunday night and Monday morning left behind a blanket of white that led to school and business closings as well as some tricky driving.

A long list of schools closed their doors for Monday, and while some systems were still on winter break, some teacher in-service days were canceled as well.

A number of schools, including Knox County, are also closed Tuesday.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office enacted their snow plan Monday morning, meaning they are only responding to emergencies. Those involved in non-injury accidents are advised to exchange insurance information and move along.

KCSO says they've responded to four accidents since midnight.

The Tennessee Valley Authority says it expects the plunging temperatures to produce a high demand for electricity.

"TVA has been monitoring and carefully preparing for this blast of potentially record-cold weather since last week," TVA Chief Operating Officer Chip Pardee said. "We have taken proactive measures so the system remains robust and reliable for our customers and power users across the Valley."

TVA says its bulk electric system remains secure and stable.

Appalachian Electric Cooperative is asking for help from its members if the power does go out. The cooperative says it is inn emergency operation status and the coming days will test its system.

In the event of an outage, AEC wants members to turn off heating equipment and keep it off for 10to 15 minutes after power is restored. The cooperative's director says one outage could lead to another if too many people try to re-warm their homes at the same time.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero posted to Facebook that more than 300 calls came into the 311 call center in just three hours Monday morning, mostly inquiries about road conditions.

She says Public Service Department crews this weekend and into tomorrow will have spread 350 tons of salt, more than 28,000 gallons of brine and 1,500 gallons of calcium chloride.

Mayor Rogero says the main roads are safe, but icy spots are still likely on side streets and in neighborhoods.

Tennessee Department of Transportation spokesperson Mark Nagi says all roads in Knox, Union and Anderson counties have been treated and are wet.

In Sevier County, State Routes 73, 416 and 454 are snow covered. All roads are being treated.

Cocke and Grainger County roads are being treated and said to be passable. The same goes for Jefferson County.

All routes in Campbell and Claiborne have slick spots, but crews are treating roadways as needed.

Routes in Blount, Loudon and Monroe counties are dry, and crews are treating roadways as needed.

Flurries and wet roads are reported in Roane County with a few slick spots. I-40 over Rockwood Mountain has icy patches, so use caution in that area.

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