Snow road conditions: Smyth County main roads clear but back roads still an issue

Snow road conditions: Smyth County...

SMYTH COUNTY, Va. - Smyth County still has some snow and ice covered roads, continuing to make driving dangerous in some spots. The main roads are clear, but the county has a lot of back roads that are difficult to treat. People we spoke with said they don't take any risks on the roads when it snows.

"You watch for the good days and go while you can,” said Smyth County resident, Cheryl Henderson. “Otherwise forget about it."

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has been working around the clock with the cold temperatures to clear and treat the roads.

"All we got right now in Smyth County is the cold spots where the sun doesn't hit,” said Smyth County road superintendent, Jimmy Melton. “Our stabilized roads they're still snow covered, but they've been graveled."

Henderson lives on Knight Road, one of the snowiest back roads we found in the county. She said she's used to dealing with these kinds of conditions when it snows, and said the whole community looks after one another.

"We call each other up and down these roads, and you know, you just have to check," said Henderson.

With back roads still icy, county schools have been closed, and school board officials said they send out road inspectors every day to check the status. They check bus routes and areas with difficult roads to make sure it's safe.

The City of Marion is having some of the same problems, especially with shady parts of the roads and they are also seeing a lot of black ice.

"Here in the mountains we have that sometimes a lot more than even the Tri-Cities do,” said Ken Heath, with the City of Marion. “The elevation here is just a little bit higher, and throughout Smyth County there's such changes in elevation it makes it a little more difficult too.

That's why the city is telling people to still take care on the roads even if they seem clear. VDOT said now their crew is prepared for anything this winter could bring their way.

"We're ready,” said Melton. “I mean we're restocking our salt right now, so we'll be ready for the next one."

Officials are advising people to watch their speed and look out for ice, particularly early in the morning and late at night when the slick roads could freeze.


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