Road crews preparing for possibility of snow

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Knoxville (WVLT) - After making preparations throughout the day, Knoxville area highway departments are now watching and waiting.

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb has more.

Previous bouts with winter weather have been a big help in being prepared. Highway crews say the salt trucks are ready and able. Now, they're just waiting for snow.

With the threat of snow, area road departments like Blount county are getting ready, but thanks to previous snow threats, there's less to get ready for.

"We didn't take the plows or boxes off that the last warning of snow that we thought we was going to get," said Bill Dunlap, the Blount County Highway Superintendent.

So it's all about having your equipment ready and able. Knoxville's Alex Neubert says they've got eight trucks for now.

"We got ten more that we can have on the road within an hour if we so need to," Neubert said.

It's also all about having the right materials ready.

"We already have about five hundred tons of sale that we brought in and already have everything set up and ready to go," said Bobby Greene, the Knox County Maintenance Director.

But getting ready for snow also takes manpower.

"We sent everybody home put them on standby and they're just waiting on us to call them. We usually get them back in here before it starts," Neubert said.

Each area has their own special concerns. For Blount, it's the upper elevations, north Knox county, and for's downtown.

"The new Hall of Fame Driving coming in, that's all in the air. It's all overpass coming into town and that stuff freezes up fast," Neubert said.

Much like the challenges for meteorologists who predict the weather, these departments say how bad it's going to be is always a tough call.

"I don't know. I wouldn't attempt to answer that. I think everybody's covering themselves," Dunlap said.

"Bad thing is you never really know what's going to happen so we're just going to play it by ear," Greene said.

Jonas Smeltzer with Sevier County says they have five trucks in the shop, warm, and ready to go. The National Park is expecting two inches in the lower elevations and up to seven in the upper elevations. Spokeswoman Nancy Gray says if freezing rain comes early, they may have to close Newfound Gap before any snow arrives.

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