With rain expected across East Tennessee Friday before the precipitation begins to freeze, TDOT will not be able to effectively use one of its primary winter weather road treatments.
"If you were to put that brine on the roadways in a pretreatment fashion, the rain is going to wash it off the roadways," TDOT spokesman Mark Nagi said.
Though East Tennessee saw freezing temperatures and some icy overpasses Monday, chief meteorologist Todd Howell says the two systems are totally different. However, Nagi says TDOT is well equipped to handle the weather.
"Every winter weather event is different," Nagi said. "This is the type of thing that we prepare for all year round."
Nagi said TDOT has 32 salt bins holding 68,000 tons of salt across the East Tennessee region. Since winter weather has been mild so far, Nagi said TDOT's materials are well supplied.
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However, Nagi said there is a point at which TDOT's treatments will be ineffective.
"The challenges are the freezing rain," Nagi said. "If the temperature goes below zero, that's when you have some serious issues, and unfortunately, the lower the temperature gets, it's really only so effective with the materials we have."
Nagi advises drivers to check road conditions before traveling, and if a trip out is not essential, stay home.