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Crews continue road work as possible refreeze looms

By Megan Gorey
Published On: Jan 25 2013 05:00:44 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 25 2013 04:51:12 PM CST

For some drivers, not going out on the roads today wasn't an option because they had to go to work -- that includes our crews, who checked on conditions in Greeneville.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -

For some drivers, not going out on the roads today wasn't an option because they had to go to work -- that includes our crews, who checked on conditions in Greeneville.

The roads are just wet right now and police say the number of crashes dropped off drastically since noon today. But the next worry is the road refreezing overnight.

That could mean more problems for drivers, especially those who have to hit the road to work.

Tonya Simmons works at the Hampton Inn in Greeneville. "We've seen a couple cars spin this morning, but nothing too major," she told us.

The freezing rain moved into the region quickly. It wasn't long before ice covered cars, parking lots and side streets. "It was raining and sleeting on my way into work," Simmons said. "It was freezing on my windshield as I came in."

Simmons tells us the key to getting to work in this weather is going slow. "We're not used to this at all, but I think we're handling it up here," she said.

The Greene County Sheriff's Department and Greeneville Police Department tell us there were more than two dozen crashes before noon Friday. "[Crews] were up and at 'em at 6 a.m. I was in at 3 a.m., checking the forecast to see if we needed to come in earlier," road superintendent David Weems said.
Some roads were even too much for the advanced drivers. "I've had two trucks slide off the road because of the ice so we have to bring the trucks in and put chains on them," Weems said.

As temperatures flirt with the freezing mark officials warn drivers about the roads refreezing. With this much ice on the trees the possibility of power outages is also a danger.

"If we do have large scale power outages, or if it goes out for any length of time, we'll have our special needs people taken care of and to a shelter," said Bill Brown, Greene County Department of Emergency Management director.

Bill Brown and David Weems, who both work for the county, tell us in the past two weeks they've gone from flooding to freezing, and they're ready for whatever else Mother Nature brings their way. "[I've had] not a lot of sleep in the past couple weeks, but that's what we're here for -- to help people. We'll continue to do that," Brown said.

So far no power outages have been reported.

We learned that as long as the temperatures stay above 25 degrees, road crews will continue to use salt to treat the primary and secondary roads.