Roads in Anderson County are ice-covered, and driving conditions are extremely hazardous, said Mark Lucas, Anderson County Sheriff’s Department chief deputy.
“We have already received reports of accidents due to slick roads,” Lucas said. “We are asking everyone to please stay at home and not to travel unless absolutely necessary.”
The roads in Oak Ridge appeared to be a sloppy, slushy mix of sleet, ice, and snow. There were reports in Anderson County and Oak Ridge of roads that were frozen or impassable.
“We are only responding to accidents with injury,” Lucas said. “If drivers are involved in a ‘fender bender,’ we are asking them to exchange information and contact their respective insurance companies.”
Oak Ridge Public Works Director Gary Cinder said the roads are likely to refreeze as the temperature drops tonight.
“It’s prudent for everyone to only travel if it’s absolutely essential,” Cinder said.
Oak Ridge put brine down on main roads on Friday and spread more on side streets on Sunday.
“It did a good job of keeping the inital precipitation from freezing to the pavement,” Cinder said. “We were able to keep the snow and ice from sticking to the pavement.”
The city has had about eight plows out pushing the slushy mix off to the side of the road. The plows are also spreading rock salt.
Cinder said the plows will work all night, and a new crew will come in at 8 p.m. Monday.
In Anderson County, Lucas asked the public to not call 911 in case there is a power outage. Instead, residents in most of Anderson County can contact the Clinton Utilities Board at (865) 457-9232 to report any power outages.
To view current power outages, visit the CUB Outage Viewer at http://outage.clintonub.com/.
There were reports of a power outage in west Oak Ridge on Monday evening, although it wasn’t immediately clear how widespread that was. Oak Ridge residents can call (865) 425-1803 to report power outages.
The National Weather Service in Morristown said the precipitation will change to snow in most spots before tapering off from west to east between 8 p.m. and midnight. In the meantime, light snow accumulations will be possible.
The temperature near Oak Ridge is forecast to hit a low of 19 degrees Fahrenheit tonight (Monday night), and there is a 20 percent chance of snow before 8 a.m. Tuesday. The high on Tuesday is forecast at 30.
The chance of snow and flurries continues on Wednesday and Thursday, and temperatures are expected to plunge to a low of 2 degrees on Wednesday night and 1 degree on Thursday night.
Local schools—including in Oak Ridge, Clinton, and Anderson and Roane counties—have already called off classes for Tuesday because of the weather. Roane State Community College campuses will also be closed and so will the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton.
More information will be added as it becomes available.