February 13th , 2014 10:00 am Leave a comment

County dodges ‘catastrophic’ snow prediction

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Photo by Brian Reese
While roads were treacherous, business disrupted and emergency and road crews did battle with fire, wrecks and slush, at least a portion of Carter County appeared peaceful: the historic Covered Bridge.

By Kayla Carter and Ashley Rader

Carter County was transformed into a winter wonderland Wednesday evening as inches and inches of snow covered the landscape, buildings and streets.

While it made for some stunning views, it also created hazardous driving conditions that had road crews up through the night battling the winter precipitation.

Beginning at about noon, snowflakes began to form and line the roads before the larger and lengthier bout of snow that began around 7 p.m. and lasted through the night, according to Carter County Emergency Management Director Andrew Worley.

“The first snow didn’t seem to impact roads severely,” Worley said. “Last night at the rate it was falling, the road crews could scrape a road and within 20 or 30 minutes it would become snow covered again. They battled it all throughout the night.”

Despite the road department’s best efforts, the biggest battle for the county was road conditions, Worley said.

“The snow was not nearly as wet as we thought it was going to be,” Worley said. “When it got dark, the temperatures dropped and that’s when we got the majority of our snow. It came down a little more powdery. It didn’t stick to trees as bad as we thought it would.”

Still, there could be some fallen trees and Worley said many areas were expected to be slushy and icy throughout the day.

“I was out this morning all throughout the county and road conditions are still pretty bad,” Worley said. “Our main roads are improving, but there is still quite a bit of snow on our secondary roads and the tertiary roads, which feed into the secondary roads. Those roads are snow covered.”

Cold temperatures are also making it difficult for the salt to do its job, Worley said.

“It’s been quite the battle throughout the night,” Worley said. “But, road conditions should improve throughout the day.”

When the snow began to fall Wednesday afternoon, there were many reports of cars sliding around on the roads, according to emergency radio traffic.

Dispatchers told Worley Thursday morning that radio traffic was calm throughout the night.

“People really heeded the warnings and stayed off the roads,” Worley said. “That really A, reduces the amount of accidents we had and B, it give our road crews an opportunity to do their work without having to dodge cars.”

To see the rest of this story, log on to the Elizabethton Star’s e-edition or pick up a copy of our award-winning print edition, available through subscriptions, in boxes and at vendors throughout Carter and Johnson counties. The e-edition is free to subscribers. Others may pay a daily, weekly or monthly fee to access the e-edition.

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