Freezing rain coats East Tennessee in layer of ice
Posted: Jan 25, 2013 5:08 AM EST Updated: Jan 25, 2013 8:19 AM EST
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Freezing rain moved into East Tennessee early Friday, causing hazardous conditions for drivers. Secondary roads, especially those not pre-treated with salt, as well as parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, and vehicles, were coated in a thin layer of ice.
An Ice Storm Warning is in effect for most of the WATE 6 viewing area until 7 p.m.
Though it fell from the sky as rain, the air and surfaces were cold enough to freeze the moisture when it reached the ground.
A mixture of snow and sleet is also in the forecast.
The precipitation is expected to wind down in the afternoon as temperatures rise above freezing.
Once the rain started to fall it didn't take long for reports of problems to begin.
Scott County resident Heather West said drizzle began there around 4:30 a.m. and was soon turning to a thin layer of ice.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation says patches of snow and ice were being reported on Interstate 40 at the Cumberland/Roane county line.
The Morgan County Sheriff's Department said it received reports of ice on Montgomery Road, Rome Road, as well as U.S. Highway 27 near the fairgrounds.
Icy sidewalks were reported in Coalfield and Oakdale.
The Knoxville Police Department says most drivers seemed to have heeded warnings to stay off roads because morning traffic was much lighter than normal.
One person was reported injured in a wreck at the I-40 Hall of Fame area at about 6:30 a.m. Another wreck with an injury was reported at Old Weisgarber at Lonas and in the 5100 block of West Emory at Harvest Creek Lane.
Up to two tenths of an inch of ice could accumulate in the morning, with lesser amounts northeast of Knoxville.
The weather conditions could bring down trees and power lines.
Knoxville Utility Board officials say they are prepared to send crews out to restore power as needed.
State and local highway departments spent much of Thursday and early Friday laying down a layer of salt or salt brine to keep roads from glazing over with ice.
Most school systems made the decision to call off Friday classes on Thursday.
Here in Morristown it's a solid layer of black ice. My deck is dangerous and the poor dog's feet went out from under her, trying to do her business. We still have power, thank God. Be very carefull, my cousin slipped on his deck in Detroit hit his head hard and died Tuesday.
Here in Rockwood, there's ice on my car so I'm sure the road is icy. Nothing on the ground is frozen here at the house, though - some puddles but they're liquid. The temp right now is 33.
Coming from NJ, though, it's hard to wrap my head around the perspective of this being an "ice storm"...but then, I imagine they don't have the equipment to handle anything serious here, which is why everything closes down if there's ice or snow predicted.
Sparks, gosh, I'm sorry to hear about your cousin!
eta: There are cars driving normal speed on the road so it can't be icy - our road drops off like a cliff on both sides and I doubt anyone would take that chance. I guess we just lucked out with warmer temps than other areas.
It is really bad here. I am in Scott Co. Everything is a layer of ice. The lights have flickered. I am surprised we have not lost power yet. MY house is right next to the woods so I am concerned about trees falling over our house or limbs. Hopefully not. Everyone be careful.
Tri-Cities area has some slippery patches on smaller roads. The ice sheeted off my car pretty easily. Not too tough a drive home at all. But then, I also used to live in the Sierras so this is nothing.
"And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand." -Dan 12:10
we had sleet and its 28 degrees and its frozen and all the roads are shut down. Our Bridges are closed. Interstate 95 is closed in both directions because of multicar pileups. I wont/cant go out the front or back door as the steps are ice all the way down the sidewalk and all the way down driveway and all the way across the entire street an inch thick.
Raleigh Wake County school bus went off the road with 21 kids to hospital.
Grandson went off the road, hit a tree and took out a headlight,
and daughter said at 20mph she was sliding all over US 1/501, which is now also closed because the bridges are now barricade.
Other daughter took her fellow worker to her home, bridges closed north of me into Harnette County, and the God daughter is staying on this side of town at her mothers since she cant get to her side of town.......again.......because all the bridges are closed.
Snow is not the same as Ice.
When the sun comes up tomorrow, it will be in the 40s and all should be melted away.
It has mostly melted here but other than bridges we did not have super nasty road conditions from what I could tell. I am on my off days so I just went walking around yesterday and did not even bother trying to melt the jeep out of its ice blanket.
For those saying it is slick on their front and back steps I have an answer if the ice is light enough that your body weight can crack it.
I keep an old door mat, carpet type, on the steps. It gets covered in ice but it has flex due to being outdoor carpet so yesterday it just cracked and gave me a no slip place to step on once I cracked through the ice.
I skipped the sidewalk and even skipped most of the gravel driveway. Walking on the frozen grass was much safer.
I am going to haul my trash soon and everything has mostly melted out now, playing with near 40 degree temps right now.
sorry for those with major issues out of this but I highly suggest folks do some thinking about what would happen if they had to leave the house in a hurry during such weather.
I won't be driving anywhere but having a vehicle with stuff in it so I can try to stay warm and not be without the basics is a major thing in my book.
And my grandmother uses a cane so the extended family really puts some thought into what it might take for her to get around in bad weather.
We avoid going out as much as possable in really bad weather. But a house fire will run me right out of my house once it gets to a size I can not handle.
Sat Jan 26, 2013 Rain, sleet wreak havoc across the state
Staff photo by James Robinson
Emergency crews work to clear a three-vehicle accident on Country Club Road on Friday evening, one of many traffic accidents that happened as sleet and freezing rain covered roads. For a photo slide show, go to fayobserver.com.
Staff photo by Andrew Craft
[+] click to enlarge
Traffic moves along at a crawl because of sleet and freezing rain, on U.S. 301 under an Interstate 95 overpass, where a tractor-trailer crashed into the sidewall.
By Nancy McCleary and Ali Rockett
A staff and wire report
Freezing rain and sleet closed schools and caused hundreds of wrecks Friday across North Carolina.
Roadways throughout the Cape Fear region were expected to remain slippery this morning, following a winter weather advisory that lasted until midnight for Cumberland, Hoke, Sampson and Scotland counties.
"Roads are going to stay slick. Any precipitation that fell in the roadway will freeze over," said Kathleen Carroll, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh.
Two rounds of sleet and freezing rain crossed the state Friday, leaving a thin coat of ice, which was enough to bring about every major highway in the state to a standstill for a time. The storm caused no deaths, and only scattered power outages were reported.
The storm settled in Cumberland County about 3 p.m., dropping freezing rain and sleet until about 7 p.m., Carroll said.
Road conditions deteriorated about 4 p.m. as ice formed, causing collisions and traffic problems.
In Fayetteville and Cumberland County, multiple crashes were reported along major thoroughfares and highways, including Interstates 295 and 95.
One major wreck closed both directions of I-95 just north of the U.S. 301 exit, Cotton Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Kevin Dove said.
Firefighters responded to the bridge there at 4:17 p.m. after receiving reports that a tractor-trailer had jackknifed on the bridge, Dove said.
When they arrived, however, they found a much bigger mess.
"It was a mix of everything," he said. "Some cars with heavy damage, one car overturned down an embankment."
Dove said a second tractor-trailer and about 20 passenger vehicles were involved, but no one required medical attention.
Firefighters reopened the roadway about 9:30 p.m. after state Department of Transportation crews re-salted the bridge, Dove said.
"Bridges were solid ice. You couldn't hardly walk on them," he said.
Fayetteville street crews were not planning to apply any brine Friday, based on the forecast, but city trucks were loaded and ready to respond, said Nathan Walls, a city spokesman.
"Staff will be spreading salt and sand as conditions warrant on bridges, overpasses and other locations that have been traditional locations for ice to form," Walls said.
As the evening wore on, there were fewer reports of vehicle accidents in the region and, when emergency response was requested, the calls were quickly canceled.
The area's 911 dispatchers began cautioning law enforcement officers about wintry precipitation in Hope Mills and southwest Cumberland County about 10:30 a.m. Moore County officials said road conditions were starting to deteriorate about 10:45 a.m.
Icy conditions were at their worst Friday afternoon, and traffic was moving less than 30 mph on much of Interstate 40 from Winston-Salem to Raleigh and Interstate 85 from Charlotte to Durham, according to the DOT.
In Cumberland County, emergency personnel responded to crashes at Gillespie Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway, at Cliffdale and All American Freeway, and at Raeford and Rim roads in Fayetteville, as well as on U.S. 301 at Tom Starling Road outside the city and on N.C. 87 in Spring Lake.
Hope Mills police issued an alert late Friday afternoon that most roads in the town were impassable because of the ice. Lakeview Drive was closed from Legion Road to South Main Street, Legion Road was closed from Cameron Road to Lakeview Drive and the N.C. 162 Bypass was closed from Legion Road to Camden Road.
Road conditions would have been much worse if crews hadn't worked for days to get ready for the storm, said DOT spokeswoman Nicole Meister.
The heaviest freezing rain and sleet moved into the eastern part of the state as the sun went down. Traffic on I-95 slowed to a standstill because of many wrecks and crews trying to get salt and sand down. Snow was even reported on the beaches of the Outer Banks.
All but eight counties in the southeast corner of the state were under some kind of winter weather advisory or warning. Most areas reported a coating of ice a tenth of an inch or less on railings, power lines and limbs, according to the National Weather Service.
As a precaution, Cumberland County government offices closed at 2:30 p.m., including the courthouse, libraries, landfills and convenience centers. The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County also canceled its Fourth Friday events.
Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation programs, including classes, practices and meetings, also were canceled Friday, but city recreation centers remained open for public use at participants' discretion.
All Cumberland County public libraries and the Animal Control Shelter will delay opening until 10 a.m. today.
The Cumberland County Solid Waste Management Department also has delayed opening its facilities - the Ann Street and Wilkes Road landfills, the household hazardous waste facility and all container sites that are normally open Saturdays - until 10 a.m. today.
Fort Bragg announced that all non-essential military and non-weather essential civilian workers would be released an hour earlier than usual Friday afternoon.
Schools across the Cape Fear region announced Thursday that they would dismiss classes as early as noon Friday in anticipation of the bad weather and the travel problems it would cause. The SAT testing scheduled for today at Lumberton and Purnell Swett high schools was rescheduled for Feb. 16.
Pine Forest High School's wrestling tournament today is canceled. Gray's Creek High School's wrestling tournament, which also was scheduled for today, was postponed to Feb. 2.
Fayetteville State University's classes are canceled today, while classes and events at Methodist University will begin at 10 a.m. because of the inclement weather.
Temperatures won't rise above freezing in much of the state until late this morning or even into the afternoon, forecasters said.
"We're really worried about the potential for black ice tonight and tomorrow morning," the DOT's Meister said.
Clouds were expected to move out Friday night, with temperatures warming into the mid-40s today.
Forecasters said highs in much of North Carolina should be in the 60s by Tuesday.
To a great extent, you do get what you pay for... but most won't need the really high quality versions, if you would only need them to walk to the mailbox or even a couple blocks. If you're a farmer or rancher, and you'll need to work outside even if it's totally ice coated, pay a bit more and get the ones which will hold up.
They also sell a cane tip which can grip ice.
For now, if you are iced in and NEED to go out, pull a pair of WOOL socks (cotton second best... not sure if synthetics would work at all) OVER your shoes... they'll start to freeze to the ice with every step, and help you get a good grip.
A couple years ago, we had an ice storm, and it was like a skating rink everywhere. Hubby fell several times and had to get to the dairy barn by crawling. I dug out the ice cleats, put a pair on, and took the second set out to him, along with an extra LED headlamp. We were able to set up the generator without falling once, with the cleats on. Worth every penny, and I always keep them stored so we know exactly where to grab them if necessary.
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