Road crews get a head start preparing for possible Sunday snow - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Road crews get a head start preparing for possible Sunday snow

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Facebook and Daniel Hight - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The forecast of possible snowfall had road crews on their toes Friday, preparing for wintry conditions expected to arrive Sunday.

Robert Knecht, the assistant director of Memphis' Public Works Department, said road crews are ready for anything.

"It's normal operating procedure for this time of year," he said. "We know that we're tasked for this type of function. We prepare for it and plan for it."

As the sun rose Friday, city trucks had already started spreading salt in select areas, including overpasses, busy intersections, and near hospitals.

"It gives us basically a cushion where it'll stop that ice and snow from bonding to that pavement surface, because once it bonds, it's very, very hard to break that bond," Knecht said.

And Knecht promised to keep a close eye on weather conditions.

"We do monitor the forecasts diligently," he said.

Heavier snow is expected in north Mississippi, where the National Weather Service says up to 5 to 8 inches of snow could fall beginning Sunday.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Memphis said there is more than a 70 percent chance for snow in north Mississippi beginning Sunday with 80 percent Sunday night and 50 percent on Monday during the day.

With the snowfall, there is also a chance of sleet, which had the Mississippi Department of Transportation and local officials preparing freezing conditions on roadways.

Meanwhile, DeSoto County Road Management prepped equipment and placed employees on standby due to the possible winter weather.

Crews attached box spreaders to trucks to treat DeSoto County roads before any winter weather hit.  Trucks will spend the weekend spreading a clay compound on roads to dampen the effects on snow and ice.

DeSoto County is responsible for nearly 600 miles of roadway.

Officials with DeSoto County Road Management said their employees are on call and will be ready at the first sign of a snowflake.

The plan is to treat problem areas first.

"Start on bridges, intersections, the stopping points there," said Jimmy Cox with DeSoto County Road Management.  "Try to keep that safe, that's the main point.  We need that."

If the road conditions get slick, Cox encouraged drivers to just stay home if possible.  If you must go out, he advised drivers to slow down while driving on snow and ice.

Entergy Mississippi is also preparing for possible winter weather.  Power crews are on standby in case of any power outage.

If you need to report a power outage or downed power line, call 1-800-9-OUTAGE.

Once the snow starts falling, we want to see your pictures.  Email them to my5@wmctv.com, and you might see them on an Action News 5 newscast.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this story.

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