East Tennesseans awake to slippery roads as snow passes

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The snow finally came to an end Thursday night, but many East Tennesseans faced a tough trek to work Friday morning. Wet and slippery roads, some covered with black ice, meant slow going for commuters on their way to work and several wrecks.

Snow that fell on East Tennessee will be short lived as temperatures well above freezing and abundant sunshine move into the region.

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Tow trucks were busy rescuing vehicles that slid off the road or were involved in wrecks. The Knoxville Police Department remains under its severe weather plan. Drivers in non-injury crashes are asked to exchange information with the other driver and contact their insurance companies. For now, they will only respond to wrecks with injuries or ones that block intersections.

KPD said most of the major arteries are in good shaped, though it did caution that turn lanes may still be snow covered. Patches of ice still exist on some interstates.

Between 1 and 5 inches of snow fell Thursday from Knoxville northeastward into the Tri-Cities, making the evening commute an ordeal and knocking out electric power to thousands of customers. There were lesser snow depths down the river valley into Chattanooga.

TDOT crews hit the highways and roads as the snow turned to ice. Mark Nagi called it an "all hands on deck" situation.

On Western Avenue near 640, it was snowing so hard that it started piling up on the roads, slowing traffic to almost a crawl.

Over in west Knoxville on Hollywood, cars were slipping and sliding all over the place. One car crashed into a mail box, and had to be pulled out of the ditch.

We talked to three drivers who said they just stopped trying to drive when the conditions got worse.

"When it started snowing, my car broke down. We just got on the side of the road, just because it was so icy. I almost crashed into a car once or twice," said Josh, Sterling and Matt.

The three are Bearden HS students, and they stopped by Food City to stock up on food before the roads iced over. They're pretty excited there's no school tomorrow.

"Oh yeah, it's pretty great. We're loving it. It'd be better if it wasn't so slushy, if it was more snowy," said the students.

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