KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Salt truck crews with the Knox County Engineering and Public Works Department started spreading salt in preparation for Monday's winter weather as early as Saturday and have not stopped fighting the elements since.
With temperatures falling throughout the day Monday, crews have had their work cut out for them, trying to melt off as much snow and ice as possible.
The last 24 hours have been especially long and cold for these crews.
"We just been putting down salt. Lots and lots of salt. Trying to get ahead of this snow," said Knox County salt truck driver Roger Bault.
They worked overnight and the entire day Monday spreading salt on every road in the county.
There are 15 trucks total and the drivers are working in shifts, splitting into pairs to cover all seven districts.
"We rotate people around. Let everybody get a little rest," said Bault.
The major problem of the day has been the increasingly cold temperatures that have dropped by the hour.
Almost as soon as drivers like Bault salt an area, causing the snow and ice to melt, it refreezes again.
They've had to go back hour by hour, reloading their trucks with salt, and dumping it on the very same street again.
Bault says the ice has refrozen in some areas in as little as one hour, and they expect that to happen even faster as it gets colder tonight.
"The plan for today is to try and get this salt down. Try and get control of this ice," said Bault.
The colder the weather gets, the more changes they've had to make to their salt mixture.
"What we've done today is added calcium to our salt which will help take the temperature down a little farther," said Bault.
Their work is still far from over. Crews will continue to be out well into the night.
"We've got a lot of ice on the roads and the snow is packing down on top of it," said Bault.
Crews are going over county roads again and again as quickly as they can, but ask that if your street is having ice problems, to call them and report those issues.
The Knox County Engineering and Public Works Department can be reached at (865) 215-5800.