Traveling is going to be a concern Wednesday as East Tennesseans wake up to a snow-covered landscape.
Temperatures aren't going to rise above 20 degrees today, so the snow is likely not going anywhere anytime today. This means slick, icy spots on some main roads and rough, treacherous conditions on neighborhood and back roads with snow still covering them.
Some parts of Sevier County were surprised to find the snow hadn't quite left the area completely Wednesday morning. A few pop-up flurries and isolated light snow showers are expected to linger around the foothills and Smokies early this morning, but those should quickly move out and partly sunny will shine through again for the entire area. Be careful on any roads that were dusted again with this light snow.
Thankfully, most of the main roads were well treated and are clear of snow, and there haven't been any major traffic issues or incidents so far this morning.
According to the latest TDOT report at 11:00 a.m., there have been no major incidents on highways in East Tennessee today and crews are out treating roads as needed. Conditions are "clear and wet" on highways in the Valley, and along the Smokies/Foothills there are still a few areas with patches of snow and ice.
TDOT said they responded to a minor incident without injuries where a car hit the side of a snow plow in Sullivan County Wednesday. Since Tuesday, the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated eight non-injury, three injury crashes in the Knoxville District -- remarking that those numbers were low and that it seemed people heeded warnings and stayed off the roads Tuesday.
As of noon, TDOT expects all state highways and interstates to be at "100% good" condition with shoulders and ramps cleared, and it will transition to an essential response crew that will continue to work and monitor roads until tomorrow morning. Counties still seeing snowfall this morning will have crews working roads until it tapers off.
TDOT said crews will begin focusing on repairing potholes and damage to state roads caused by snow removal tomorrow.
Bridges, overpasses and off-ramps on the highways might be icy or have residual snow left in certain spots as crews finish clearing roads, so slow down and use ample caution before you attempt to exit the highway.
10News was out on the roads this morning monitoring conditions in Knox and Sevier County. Main roads are clear after being treated overnight with a few slick patches in certain spots, but many of the back neighborhood roads that weren't treated are still snow covered and slick, and will be difficult to drive on for people without well-treaded tires. This is likely to remain the case until temperatures warm up a little Thursday, particularly in neighborhoods and areas with a lot of shade.
Road conditions are reported to be similar for most other cities like Morristown, the Karns area and all around East Tennessee this morning: The treated main roads are drivable with a few slick spots of ice, but most secondary and back roads are still snow covered and very slick. Use plenty of caution when driving this morning and throughout the day as temperatures will remain below freezing.
KAT buses were be operating on "Severe Snow Routes" earlier this morning, meaning all passengers rode free. All buses and the three trolley lines are back in regular snow route service now, though, which means those passengers will now have to pay regular fare to ride. For more information, visit KAT's website.
Trash and Waste collection services in Knoxville were called off today, as the city deemed conditions too dangerous in most neighborhoods to collect trash. Residents are advised to leave their trash out so it can be collected later, and all trash collection will run a day behind this week.
We've also been keeping an eye on flight delays at McGhee Tyson Airport. The weather has not affected most outbound flights, however, there were quite a few delayed arrivals into this evening.
On Tuesday, KPD moved to a Severe Weather Plan Level II around 6:30 p.m., meaning officials don't expect road conditions to improve for an extended period of time.
A KPD spokesperson said officers will be doubled up on patrol in severe weather vehicles, and will check any abandoned vehicles for people. After a vehicle has been checked, it will be marked with a bright orange sticker for emergency responders to see.
KPD has three Severe Weather Plan levels, with level III being the most severe.
Knoxville first responders monitored from the Emergency Operations Center starting around 1 p.m. Tuesday.
"We have all the resources, we have the weather from Morristown, and we've also got the cameras where we can monitor the road situations, and too, our TRTs are out and they're reporting back," Knoxville Fire Department Captain D.J. Corcoran said.
Those "TRTs" are Triage Response Teams, which are four-wheel-drive vehicles that can handle the weather, with emergency personnel driving.
"TRT units are going to be responding to medical calls," Corcoran said.
It saves time and taxpayer money should something go wrong.
"If a truck runs into a ditch, it's easier to get a four wheel drive TRT unit out of a ditch, than to get a big fire truck out of a ditch," Corcoran said.
Corcoran said the EOC allows each agency to communicate better, which helps everyone stay safe.
Road crews worked to pre-treat interstates, highways, and main roads across the area. Untreated, secondary roads will likely be hazardous, so use caution when driving.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is keeping track of road conditions along the major highways. They'll be posting those updates to their Twitter account throughout the day.
WBIR will continue to monitor and update road conditions.
Knoxville Police started operating under its severe weather plan starting at 3 p.m., meaning they will only be responding to car crashes with injury.
Anderson County roads and highways were covered in snow yesterday. The sheriff's office warns drivers that roads are slick and hazardous with ice under the snow on bridges and overpasses. Travel is not recommended. If you need to drive, take it slow. Sheriff's deputies are on patrol in four wheel drive vehicles. So far, crews have responded to a couple cars off into a ditch.
As always, the best way to drive in these conditions is to keep ample distance between you and the next vehicle, and to use extra caution and drive steadily. Be sure to have your deicing fluid levels topped off and clear any snow off your vehicle (including all windows, headlights and taillights) before hitting the road.
It's advised not to make any sudden turns or stops in snowy or icy conditions, and to use extra caution when driving on bridges, ramps and overpasses because they tend to become hazardous in these conditions. For example, see what happened to drivers caught unaware on this icy off-ramp of James White Parkway in Downtown Knoxville last week: