Although Tennessee and its residents are no stranger to ice and snow, the sudden snow storm in mid-January took its toll. Icy conditions made the roads dangerous, and drivers unfamiliar with blizzard-like conditions made errors that resulted in several crashes.
A single wreck between Camden, Tennessee, and Lexington, Kentucky, stopped traffic for hours. It backed up traffic for miles as emergency crews attempted to clear the roadway.
The difficult part of this snow storm was that the authorities did try to prevent the roads from icing or becoming covered in snow. They salted and laid down chemicals. Unfortunately, rain came before snow, washing those chemicals away. On top of that, the rain then froze, creating sheets of ice underneath snow.
It happened so quickly that there wasn't time to salt the roads again before they became dangerous for drivers. Drivers ended up stuck on Interstate 40 for hours. The authorities had to go as far as to bring out food, water, blankets and gasoline for the people whose vehicles had run out of fuel.
When snow storms hit suddenly, drivers may not know what to do. It's a good idea for you to keep an eye on the weather conditions and to pull over to the side of the road or to take the next possible exit if the roads are poor. In states like Tennessee, there are steps that the authorities will take to clear the roads, but if they're not done quickly, the ice and snow could lead to serious hazards. Drivers should maintain a safe distance from others and be sure to carry emergency supplies.
Source: Jackson Sun, "Icy roads strands drivers as TDOT does what it can to combat conditions," Brandon Shields, Jan. 13, 2018