Crews prepare as snow covers roads
In the Tri-Cities, the rain changed to snow right before many people head home from work for the day.
Crews in Virginia and Tennessee have been working to keep the roads clear. It was snowing and the roads were covered as of 5 p.m. on Thursday.
We checked in with VDOT and TDOT to find out how they're handling the winter storm.
The salt is loaded and the plows are ready for what Mother Nature brings as rain turned to snow. VDOT crews say they are prepared for the storm.
VDOT spokesperson Michelle Earl told us about how they prepared. "Most of the crews that one out there are making sure they have the salt they need in the trucks as well as just being on standby in the event snow does come earlier than anticipated," she said.
In their 12-county region they have about 700 pieces of equipment to keep the roads clear. But sometimes even the best equipment is no match against Mother Nature's timing. "It's always a concern when we have it occurring during rush hour, but we hope folks can make plans to be off the road do make those plans," Earl said.
TDOT is also getting ready. We checked in with supervisor David Lewis, who says they're working hard to cover a wide area of roads. "We've got Carter, Johnson, Unicoi, Sullivan and Washington County, all the state roads and interstates," he said.
But this time around, because of the rain preceding the snow, crews could not pre-treat roads. They're hoping the heavy, wet, snow will help make roads easier to clear.
"[We'll] really the wet snow, temperatures a little warmer and it makes it somewhat easier to deal with because you can plow the heavy, wet snow easier than dry snow," Lewis said.
VDOT says it takes three inches of snow before they can plow. Treating the roads with salt can help melt the snow if it's less than three inches.
If you do have to head out and have a smartphone, you can download the VDOT and TDOT apps. There you can see road conditions, maps, even live videos of the of the road conditions.
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