Those dreaming of a white Christmas may get their wish one day late.
Forecasters continue to call for a chance of snow Wednesday with temperatures dropping to 23 degrees. If snow should arrive, Road Superintendent Levie Glenn says he and his department will be ready, no matter the day.
“When it snows, duty calls and we’re ready to go,” said Glenn. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday, right after a holiday, or whatever. We’re on call 24-7.”
Last year was a mild winter and this year has started as one. The Tennessee Department of Transportation has taken advantage of the favorable conditions to get all 95 counties stocked with salt.
“We have our salt supply full and our trucks are ready to go,” said Glenn. “Who knows what’s in store this winter.”
Forecasters predicted last week that this will be a wet winter, although they say they can’t determine until about a week away if precipitation has a good chance of turning to snow. Should bad weather hit, TDOT believes it’s ready.
TDOT has increased this year’s winter budget to $19.7 million. That money is allocated for salt, salt brine, overtime for employees and equipment maintenance.
“Even small amounts of snow or ice can cripple our transportation system and create dangerous conditions for motorists,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “We have more than 1200 TDOT employees who are ready to mobilize quickly in the event of winter weather and they will work until our roads are clear.”
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, like hills, curves, ramps, bridges and interchanges.