NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Department of Transportation has a lot of resources at their disposal for this winter storm, but the name of the game today is stay off the roads if you can.
TDOT has 45,000 tons of salt for the roads, and they've already laid 5,000 tons in the past few days. When it comes to manpower, they are full staffed. They moved personnel and equipment over from Knoxville and Chattanooga to help out.
TDOT says they will be operating trucks 24 hours a day throughout the snow event. In the Nashville area alone, they have 50 trucks working on the roads.
TDOT tells us they can only clear state-owned roads and that’s going to be your interstate and state routes.
During snow events like the one we're seeing today, they divide roads into categories of priority 1, 2, and 3.
"Our priority 1 route are interstates and really thought out this event we had to stay focus on 1 and some 2 routes," said TDOT spokesperson Kathryn Schulte, "Roads that we own that we call priority 3 were pre-treated but for the most part we haven’t had the resources to pull crews from interstate to clear that 3 route so best to stay home."
TDOT is asking folks on the road to give their trucks some room to work, so again if you don’t have to go anywhere please stay home.
This video of tandem plowing was taken at 12:30AM on I-65 in the Franklin area.— Kathryn Schulte (@SchulteTDOT) February 15, 2021
If you have to be on the roads, please slow down and give our crews plenty of room! pic.twitter.com/OhW0jJo2KE
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is echoing that message, but if you do have to go out, they recommend some things to pack. Make sure to have some food, a flashlight, your cell phone and charger and a blanket. However, in this weather, it’s likely you could still run into trouble.
"It does not matter what kind of vehicle you're driving, whether that be four-wheel drive or a small car, or tractor-trailer, it doesn't matter. The ice, you cannot stop,” said Lt. Charles Caplinger. "All we can ask you to do is stay home because nothing is more important than being safe."
Several law enforcement agencies in Middle Tennessee have reported icy road conditions on Monday morning in a continued call to ask everyone to stay home if possible. This includes Columbia police, Mt. Juliet police and Portland city officials. THP has reported icy conditions on rural Middle Tennessee county roads.
You can call THP at *THP (*847) if you run into issues today, but it may take some time. TDOT help trucks will also be out on the road, especially on Interstate 40 between Nashville and Memphis, to help.