TDOT, TVA Ready To Deal With Winter Weather

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is stocked and ready to clear roadways of ice and snow this season. Over the last several weeks, salt supplies have been replenished in all 95 counties, and crews have readied snow plows and brine trucks for the winter season.

“We have more than a thousand employees who are trained in snow and ice removal, and they are ready to mobilize when winter weather hits Tennessee,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “Clearing our highways as quickly as possible is essential in our efforts to keep motorists safe and keep traffic moving.”

TDOT’s statewide 2013/2014 winter weather budget is $19.7 million, and includes salt, salt brine, overtime for employees, and equipment maintenance. The department has a total of three salt vendors to refill salt bins in all 95 Tennessee counties.

TDOT currently has more than 235,000 tons of salt and more than 1.8 million gallons of salt brine ready for use.  Salt brine is a salt/water mixture used as a pre-treatment for roads prior to a winter storm or to melt snow on roadways when temperatures are hovering around the freezing mark. Salt is applied to roads once snow has started to accumulate.  

When snow hits Tennessee, TDOT ice and snow removal teams focus first on clearing interstates and heavily traveled state routes and will specifically target areas vulnerable to freezing, such as hills, curves, ramps, bridges and interchanges. During prolonged weather events, crews may have to clear roadways repeatedly.

TDOT has a number of tools available to keep motorists informed about travel conditions including the TDOT SmartWay website (www.tn.gov/tdot/tdotsmartway) and the 5-1-1 motorist information line.  You can also receive traffic alerts via TDOT’s multiple Twitter feeds, including statewide traffic tweets @TN511 or any of TDOT’s other Twitter pages.  Smartphone users can download the TDOT SmartWay mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for Android to access TDOT’s SmartWay cameras, messages displayed on overhead Dynamic Message Signs, and information on construction related lane closures and incidents on interstates and state routes

For more information about TDOT winter weather preparations, or for a regional breakdown of TDOT winter weather supplies and equipment, visit the TDOT web site at http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/mediaroom/snowbuster.htm.


Also, TVA officials said the potential for icy conditions over the next few days leads to the possibility of downed power lines and service disruptions over a wide area of western Tennessee and Kentucky. The Tennessee Valley Authority is mobilizing its resources to help minimize any impact on those who rely on the electricity it provides.

            TVA and contractor crews are being pre-positioned in five staging areas to allow a rapid, coordinated response with crews from local power distributors. TVA generating facilities in potentially affected areas are also making preparations to safely maintain operations.

            TVA’s emergency operations centers in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville are on stand-by and are prepared to provide additional support if icy conditions affect a large area.

            Taking early steps to ensure crews can be in the field quickly and effectively is a key part of TVA’s ability to reliably provide electricity to the region, it was stated. TVA has maintained a 99.999 percent reliability rating for 14 years in a row.

            If icy conditions do lead to downed power lines, it’s vital to remember these safety tips:

  • Treat every downed power line as “energized” and potentially dangerous.
  • Never touch a downed line, or any object that may be in contact with the line
  • Immediately contact your local power company.
  • If a power line falls across an occupied vehicle, stay in the vehicle, as it affords the best protection against any dangerous current.  Use a cell phone to call for help.
  • If the vehicle must be exited due to fire or another life-threatening condition, jump clear of the vehicle without touching any part of it. Then, “shuffle” or jump away from the area, keeping both feet on the ground at the same time to minimize the chance of electric shock.
  • If someone makes contact with a live electric line, do not attempt to rescue them because you risk becoming a victim yourself. Call 911 for assistance.



McKamey Animal Center's Annual Doggie-1000-Egg Hunt Takes Place April 8

The annual Doggie-1000-Egg Hunt at the McKamey Animal Center, located at 4500 North Access Road in Chattanooga will be  Saturday April 8, starting promptly at  10:30 a.m . Early registration is encouraged starting at  9:30 a.m . The cost of the event is $5 per dog or two cans of dog food per dog entered. The donated canned food is used for the residents at ... (click for more)

Mayor And City Council Declare Vietnam Veterans Week

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, with the support of the Chattanooga City Council, has declared March 26-April 1, as ‘Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Week’. While Wednesday, March 29, has been declared by the U. S. Congress as Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Day, local government felt that more than one day should be designated to offer a ‘Thank You’ to the thousands of area veterans who ... (click for more)

2 Shot On Rawlings Street Friday Night; 1 In Critical Condition

Two people were shot, Friday night, and one is in critical condition. At approximately  9:56 p.m.  Chattanooga Police officers responded to the 2000 block of Rawlings Street on a report of a person shot. Officers arrived on scene and located one victim lying next to a vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound. A second victim arrived at a local hospital suffering from ... (click for more)

Car Crashes Into Motel 6 In Dalton; Driver, 17, Admits To Texting While Driving

The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department responded Saturday morning to a crash at the Motel 6 at Highway 41 and Tibbs Road. The driver of the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix involved left the roadway and crashed into the Motel 6 building causing severe damage to one of the rooms. There were no major injuries. Investigators believe texting while driving was a contributing ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Geno: Our ‘Me’ Culture

By almost every measure, Geno Auriemma is the best basketball coach in America. His University of Connecticut women are riding a record 109-game winning streak that dates to Nov. 17, 2016. Stanford barely beat them in overtime 3 years ago, but, before that, they won 41 straight. That means UConn is 153-1 and, in the current 109 streak, they have double-figure wins over the opponents ... (click for more)