After days of rain, the temperature has dropped below freezing in East Tennessee, dumping thick, heavy, wet snow on much of the area. Many roads are turning slushy, and as the temperature continues to drop late into the evening, conditions are expected to get icy.
This system is passing through the area right at the height of rush hour traffic, and hour goal is to make sure everyone has the information they need to make it home safely.
Here are resources you and your family might be looking for during these rough conditions.
TDOT Smartway map- Check out road conditions and view traffic from webcams stationed all around the area.
Tips for driving in the snow:
- Stay inside if at all possible. Only drive if absolutely necessary.
- Turn on your headlights for increased visibility.
- Keep your lights and windshield clean.
- Drive slowly.
- Do not use cruise control.
- If you have a manual car, stay in lower gears, especially on hills.
- Be especially careful on bridges and overpasses, which have a tendency to freeze first.
If you do get stuck in the snow:
- Do not spin your wheels. You'll only get yourself more stuck.
- Turn your wheels from side to side to clear the snow from around them.
- Tap the gas gently to ease your car out.
- Kitty litter, sand, gravel or salt can help your tires get traction.
KUB outage map- Nearly 27,000 KUB customers are without power. See where power is out in Knoxville.
What to do if your power goes out:
- Dress in layers. Especially make sure your head and feet are covered with warm hats and socks.
- Avoid opening your fridge or freezer as your food could go bad.
Although you can place frozen food outside and milk and other
perishables in a cooler and place outside.
- Unplug major appliances. When the power comes back on, it could surge and damage your electronics.
- DO NOT call 911 unless you see a power line down in your neighborhood. If a line is down, DO NOT go near it.
- DO NOT use outdoor heaters, BBQs or kerosene heaters. Feel free to use a regular wood-burning fireplace for heat.
KAT Bus routes- KAT buses are running on alternative snow routes. This means the buses are continuing to run, but some may take detours to bypass dangerous roads. For the latest up-to-date information on KAT buses, check out their Facebook or Twitter pages.
School closings- Many schools have canceled school for Friday, with more cancellations rolling in by the minute. For the most up-to-date list of school closings, check out the WBIR closings/cancellations page.
Community cancellations- Here in the newsroom, we're trying to keep up with community cancellations. You can find a list here, but there are so many things being canceled, it might be best to call the location of your engagements directly.
Phone outages: We've received reports from several Verizon Wireless customers of phone outages. We do not have an official confirmation of a widespread outage at this time from Verizon, but if your phone isn't working, you're not alone.
Flights: You can use McGhee-Tyson's flight tracker to monitor flights coming into the airport. If you are concerned about a specific flight, call the phone number of the airline carrier. You can find a list of carriers and their phone numbers here. The airport also has an iPhone app you can download free from the App Store.