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Icy conditions affecting roads in East TN

No crashes have been reported in Scott, Knox, Anderson, Fentress, and Morgan counties.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — If you do not need to be out on the roads Friday morning -- crews are asking you to stay off the road to avoid icy conditions.

Temperatures are expected to turn frigid overnight, and wet roads are expected to freeze, particularly in the Cumberland Plateau where there was significant snow accumulation.

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Friday

The Sevierville Police Department said that roads in the area are in good condition, however, some patchy black ice may be present. Motorists should remain cautious, especially on bridges.

Public Works crews applied salt to bridges Friday morning and also on the hill on Highway 66 between Highway 139 and I-40 exit 407.

No crashes have been reported in Scott, Knox, Anderson, Fentress, and Morgan counties. Officials in those counties said there is black ice on the roads.

The Greeneville/Greene County Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security said there are patchy areas of black ice.

Very cold temperatures can turn any wet spots on roads into patches of ice, creating slippery conditions especially on bridges and untreated secondary roads. Traveled roadways will be free of snow or black ice, officials said.

The Knoxville Police Department said that all primary and most secondary roads are clear. Ice and snow are still reportedly covering many neighborhood and side streets, especially in the north and northeast areas of the city.

The Crossville/Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency said that main roads are still spotty in places and backroads are covered. If you need to travel, slow down and allow plenty of space between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you.

Officials in Morgan County said that roads are still slick and they don’t recommend traveling if you don’t have to be out. State and county road crews have been and are still working to get roads clear as quickly and as safely as possible. Roads that are clear and passable will even have the possibility of black ice on them. 

According to Claiborne County mayor, the current conditions of roads in the area are frozen and slick due to snow and black ice. He is asking the community to stay home.

The Cocke County Emergency Management Agency reported that the main roads are in good condition.

TDOT said that crews have cleared all roadways, medians, turn lanes, and shoulders regionwide. As routes dry, crews will be leaving, with most exiting by Friday at 12 p.m. Counties will have a presence overnight to monitor bridges, overpasses, and protect from refreezing.

 The Cades Cove Loop Road and Laurel Creek Road are open. Motorists should remain cautious.

Officials said that if you are traveling from the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area, you will have to take 321 from Pigeon Forge through Wears Valley to Townsend. Little River Road in the national park remains closed from Elkmont to the Townsend Wye.

The following roads are also temporarily closed due to ice and snow:

  • U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road
  • Little River Road between Sugarlands Visitors Center and the Townsend Wye
  • Wear Cove Gap Road
  • Lower and Upper Tremont Road
  • All sections of the Foothills Parkway
  • Cataloochee Entrance
  • Cherokee Orchard Road at the park boundary
  • Lakeview Drive

Thursday

The Tennessee Highway Patrol reported I-75 had been covered by snow in Campbell County. As of 5 p.m., conditions improved as plow and salt crews treated and cleared the roads.

As of 5:30 p.m. Thursday, no significant traffic issues were reported in the East Tennessee Valley. Mark Nagi with TDOT said they saw road impacts in Scott, Campbell, Morgan and Claiborne counties where heavy snow accumulated.

"TDOT crews have been reallocated at times to allow lanes to be passable for motorists. At this time, there are no significant issues on roadways in Tennessee," Nagi said. "With temperatures continuing to drop and wintry precipitation falling, crews will continue to salt and plow where necessary."

THP, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, and other city and county road crews are telling people to avoid travel if at all possible into Friday morning unless it's an emergency.

In Campbell County, crews said they had trouble clearing roads during the peak of the snowfall Thursday afternoon because too many people were out traveling. Several main roads, such as Jacksboro Pike in LaFollette, were slick with snow and slush. The LaFollette Police Department said it changed traffic lights to hazards due to worries that people would not be able to stop at red lights without hitting each other.

Many of the primary highways and back roads in the Northern Cumberland Plateau also saw conditions deteriorating.

In Knoxville as of 4:30 p.m., road conditions deteriorated slightly with a light layer of snow and slush on roads, particularly on elevated surfaces such as interstate bridges and overpasses, as well as untreated back roads. Knox County Rural Metro said several agencies have put out 4x4 vehicles to help reach people with emergencies, asking people to be careful.

As of Thursday afternoon, several roads around Cades Cove were closed due to snow and ice. They included Cades Cove Loop Road, Laurel Creek Road, Lower Tremont Road and Newfound Gap Road between Gatlinburg and Cherokee.

Roads were also closed in the area due to downed trees from Monday's snowstorm. Those roads included Little River Road between Elkmony and Townsend Wye, Upper Tremont Road, the Cataloochee Entrance, Wears Cove Gap Road, Foothills Parkway East and West, as well as Cherokee Orchard Road at the park boundary.

ROAD UPDATE (Thursday, 1/6, 3:09 p.m. EST): The following roads are temporarily closed due to snow and ice: - Cades...

Posted by Cades Cove on Thursday, January 6, 2022

Crews said they will focus on plowing and salting interstates and main roads Thursday night and Friday morning, and then secondary roads as conditions allow. Be aware that ice-slick roads will still be an issue, particularly on the back and side roads across East Tennessee.