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Crews across the Mid-South prepare for winter weather

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 9:50 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Preparations have been underway all day ahead of the winter mix expected early Thursday morning.

Several agencies are working together to make sure both citizens and roads are safe.

Crews spent all day Wednesday preparing for the second round of snow in the Mid-South in less than a week. This time around, ice is a major concern.

Robert Knecht with Memphis Department of Public Works says crews worked to pre-treat roads. It’s something made easy, thanks to no rain Wednesday.

“The goal is if you can pre-treat a roadway in advance of sleet, snow, or ice, it is a very big opportunity that would help prevent the road from freezing over,” said Knecht.

With the bridges and overpasses pre-treated, Knecht says that makes it easier for crews to put down salt once the weather moves in.

Meanwhile, Nichole Lawrence with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) says they have 25,000 tons of a salt/brine mixture ready to treat the roads.

“When that frozen precipitation comes down, it helps melt it right off,” Lawrence said.

Shelby County’s Emergency Management team is also working ahead of the storm, preparing for the possibility of slick roadways along with frozen bridges and overpasses.

EMA Director Brenda Jones shared this advice.

“If you do not have to be out and about in a vehicle, we encourage you not to, but if you do, drive at a reduced speed,” she said. “Also, if you do remember the Shelby County roads are not a racetrack, plenty of weather and icy conditions on the roadway, make sure you are reducing your speed.”

Mississippi is also expected to be impacted by the wintry mix with the possibility of one to three inches of snow.

If you must drive, Mississippi Department of Transportation officials recommend checking the maintenance on your car before hitting the road.

“Check your battery on your car and make sure that it’s charging up to its optimum performance,” said MDOT spokesperson David 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.”

Again, all agencies emphasize the less you have to drive, the better.

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