JOHNSON COUNTY, Tenn. - Every school system in our region was back in school yesterday except one. Johnson County Schools went back for the first time since last week, but were still on a two-hour delay.
We learned this is because they are still dealing with icy roads nearly a week later.
Road crews have been working since the snowfall last Friday. "You know we had that flood the week before last. Then right after the flood we got a really heavy snow right on top of it," said road superintendent Tony Jennings.
We drove around and found many roads cleared, but the farther we went into the mountains the icier it got. "Back in the mountain areas it gets so cold you can't get it off," said Jennings.
Resident Jim Mast says this is one of the first times he could even leave his home. "Well today's been the best day since about Sunday, "said Mast. "The county's being awful good trying to dry it down too."
Johnson County uses rocks to cover their snowy roads. They say the rocks are cheaper than salt and the salt causes harm to their roads. "Our roads are surface-treated and the calcium that's in the salt will do damage to that road," said Jennings.
Jennings tells me the rocks only help so much and they're keeping their fingers crossed that the temperatures continue to rise in hopes the ice will melt. "We've still got probably at least 10 or 12 roads that still have ice on them and if it doesn't get warmer, it could be there another week," he said.
However, Jennings says they'll keep working until they're all clear. "We'll do the best we can with what we've got," he said.
Jennings told us they usually go through the winter with only snow, which causes no harm to the roads and melts rather quickly. We learned they received six to 12 inches of snow on top of freezing rain last weekend.