Road conditions deteriorate as freezing weather approaches

In response to worsening conditions, the Knoxville Police Department activated level one of its severe weather plan Thursday afternoon.
Chief Meteorologist Heather Haley tracks the heavier snowfall and the extended freeze ahead for tonight.
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 5:13 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2022 at 5:23 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Snow and rain conditions are causing issues for drivers across parts of East Tennessee Thursday. With freezing conditions in the forecast, authorities warn of worsening conditions.

Some three to four inches of snow fell in Campbell Co., backing up traffic for miles on I-75.

The Knoxville Police Department is warning travelers to avoid the roads.

“We would encourage drivers to limit their travel if at all possible. There have been 9-1-1 calls reporting slick roads both in and around Knoxville, and it is expected that road conditions could continue to deteriorate as temperatures drop tonight. If travel is necessary, drivers should use extra caution and pay careful attention to their surroundings and roadway conditions,” said KPD Spokesperson Scott Erland.

KPD is now operating under its level one severe weather plan.

Under level one, KPD’s response to crashes is limited. Officers will only respond to multi-car crashes, wrecks blocking the road, or crashes with injuries. If you’re involved in a minor crash without injuries, authorities ask that you exchange information and call your insurance company.

Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler asked drivers to use common sense as roads could freeze and check local weather reports before leaving home.

“Make sure you have fuel, appropriate clothing should you become stranded. Additionally, remain aware of your surroundings, slow your speeds, allow enough space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you,” said Sheriff Spangler.

Rural Metro Fire Spokesperson Jeff Bagwell shared tips for people who plan to drive in wintry conditions.

“Leave plenty of distance between you and the car in front of you, plan your route, if your car is not winter worthy, don’t drive it,” Bagwell said.

Sevier County Emergency Management Agency announced an update on road conditions on road conditions Friday morning.

“Some reports of icy spots in Jones Cove and English Mountain due to the light snowfall last night and cold temperatures,” the announcement stated. “Main and secondary roads are currently reported in good shape.”

The organization warned to be careful on “usual spots” where ice can form on roads

UPDATE-Road Conditions (6:30 AM 1/7/22): Some reports of icy spots in Jones Cove and English Mountain due to the light...

Posted by Sevier County Emergency Management Agency on Friday, January 7, 2022

WVLT has a First Alert issued for Thursday and Friday as freezing conditions set in Thursday night and persist Friday.

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