Memphis road conditions drastically differ street to street - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis road conditions drastically differ street to street

(Photo Source: Chopper 5) (Photo Source: Chopper 5)
(WMC) -

It's an old saying in the south: If you don't like the weather, wait 24 hours.

During this week's winter storm, the saying could be modified to say, 'If you don't like the road conditions, wait for the next block.'

In Memphis, you can drive one block and have perfectly cleared roads, but make one wrong turn and you're sliding through some of the worst conditions.

At the intersection of Holmes Road and Pleasant Hill Road, a MATA bus and a tractor-trailer both ended up stranded after hitting solid sheets of ice.

Police closed down the intersection after realizing it was too treacherous for cars to pass. Meanwhile, Poplar Avenue was clear and safe to drive.

"On the main roads, there isn't a bunch of pileup of snow because it's starting to melt," Ryon Thomas said.

Thomas, like many of us, noticed main streets were clear while side roads were still frozen over.

"Most cities, especially those in southern areas like us, don't treat every street," Robert Knecht, a Memphis Public Works employee, said. "We're going to continue to focus on our bridges and overpasses, hills, the inclines, and our major intersections on an as-needed and as-able to basis."

Knecht says an important factor on what streets will be cleared is which ones police, fire, and ambulances need the most.

The temperatures on Tuesday stayed at or below freezing for most of the Mid-South, meaning most of the ice stayed put. But, Public Works will continue an all-hands-on-deck approach to clearing the streets.

The group has 13 salt and sand trucks working 24/7 to try and clear the roads as quickly as possible.

"We'd just really appreciate citizens to understand we're doing the best we can, and using our resources to the best of our ability. and to just be patient," Knecht said.

For anyone having to travel in Mid-South winter conditions, call the road conditions hotline in Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, or Missouri to make sure you have a clear route.

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