Note: This story was last updated at 10 a.m.
Oak Ridge Schools are closed today as a layer of ice coated the ground in Oak Ridge, making roads and sidewalks slippery.
The schools had originally planned to open two hours late.
Other local school systems are also closed today (Monday, January 8) as the forecast had called for freezing rain or a wintry mix of precipitation around school arrival time this morning. Among the other school systems closed are Anderson County, Clinton, and Roane County. Roane State Community College is closed today as well (see here for more information).
The City of Oak Ridge announced Sunday that government offices would open two hours late today. Work at the East Tennessee Technology Park will start three hours late, UCOR said Monday morning.
The Roane County Courthouse is opening two hours late, and all Roane County courts are closed today. The Anderson County Courthouse is closed today, Mayor Terry Frank said.
“There are reports of ice all around the county,” Frank said. “Chief Lucas (Chief Deputy Mark Lucas) reports main and rural roads are becoming icy and they are already working one wreck on Clinton Highway. My own driveway is a solid sheet of ice.”
The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department said freezing rain is causing icy conditions, and Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said there are several reports of non-injury crashes where drivers have slid off the roadway.
“Both state routes and rural roads are slick and hazardous,” the Sheriff’s Department said. “Please do not travel.”
In Oak Ridge, crews had put a layer of brine on main roads as of Sunday evening, although the current condition of those roads wasn’t immediately clear on Monday morning.
Slick, icy roads have been reported in Anderson County and Oak Ridge, including on main roads, rural roads, and heavily traveled roads like Clinton Highway in the county and Michigan Avenue in the city. Some roads are reported to be solid sheets of ice.
A jack-knifed tractor-trailer was reported on Interstate 40 West at mile marker 349 in Roane County. That roadway is closed, the Tennessee Department of Transportation said. I-40 East at MM 349 has one lane open. Roads are very icy in this area, TDOT said. (The Oak Ridge/Gallaher Road exit is Exit 356.)
“For the next few hours there are going to be slick spots on roadways across East Tennessee,” TDOT Spokesperson Mark Nagi said. “If you don’t have to be driving this morning, please stay off the interstates/state routes/local roads. Keeps you safe and gives crews room to do their jobs.”
“A reminder that just a very small amount of ice can cause significant impacts and treacherous travel conditions,” the National Weather Service in Morristown said. “Hazardous road conditions reported and developing from Chattanooga to Knoxville, currently. Will spread into parts of northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia over the next couple hours.
“Please don’t venture out unless absolutely necessary this morning. Yes, it looks like just rain. However, it’s freezing rain that is freezing on contact to surfaces and creating dangerous, icy road conditions.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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