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Mid-South transportation departments prepare roads for winter weather

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 5:45 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2022 at 8:11 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Winter weather is quickly approaching us this week, with snow expected in some of the Mid-South.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation tells us they prepare for winter weather year-round and it’s an all-hands on deck scenario.

TDOT says they cover 21 counties in West Tennessee which include 9,600 lane miles that they have to cover.

As areas of West Tennessee prepare for inclement weather, TDOT encourages drivers to take their time on the road and be aware of their surroundings.

“Ice and snow take it slow and when you see our workers out on the roads, don’t crowd the plow,” said TDOT Community Relations Officer Nichole Lawrence. “That’s another little slogan that we use, but you know, give our workers plenty of room to get out there and spread that salt brine mixture or if they’re applying the salt to the roadways because it is freezing.”

TDOT says they’ll be spending some time Wednesday applying their salt brine mixture.

So far they have nearly 200,000 tons of salt and more than 1.5 million gallons of salt brine ready for use. Lawrence says they order as they go to have a good supply on hand.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation is also preparing for whatever winter has for them.

It says preparing for winter weather is a year-round event and preparations start months before. They ensure all of their vehicles and machinery like plows are working properly and ready to hit the road.

David Kenney, Public Information Officer with MDOT also mentioned some routine things drivers should check to ensure their vehicle is ready for winter weather conditions.

“Check your battery on your car and make sure that it’s charging up to its optimum performance,” said Kenney. “Clean and flush out your antifreeze. Get your brakes checked. Make sure if you are on a slick surface that you are going to be able to stop in the distance you need to stop in.”

Kenney adds it’s important to reduce distractions especially during winter road conditions and make sure your windshield wipers are working.

MDOT also has some tips for drivers for things they should have in their car’s emergency kit. This includes things like blankets (adlib), jumper cables and snacks.

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