Nearly 100 car accidents reported in Memphis

Nearly 100 car accidents reported in Memphis
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - On Monday alone, Memphis Police Department reported at least 73 accidents on city streets.

"Even the best treated roads we have out there are extremely dangerous," Shelby County Office of Preparedness director Dale Lane told WMC Action News 5.

Monday night, the roads had a mix of ice, slush, and water. With temperatures expected below freezing overnight, the Tuesday morning commute could be treacherous once again.

"With all the slush on the road, it's not going to dry up overnight. It's going to freeze," said Memphis driver Tony Arnold. "I'm going to stay inside. I'm not going to get behind the wheel."

Memphis has 13 salt and sand trucks on the road; Shelby County has six. Across Tennessee, TDOT has 400 employees working to keep the roads safe.

State crews plan to work around the clock. Shelby County crews plan to reassess the situation tonight at 8 p.m., while city crews plan to adjust plans around midnight.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell says the situation is changing minute by minute.

"Just continue to watch the roads, and see what we can do to stay ahead of it," Luttrell said.

The weather treatments began on Friday when City of Memphis coated the streets with brine, a solution that is supposed to be effective for up to one week.

"It makes it easier for us to come in behind and put salt and sand on it," explained Robert Knecht, City of Memphis Public Works. "It keeps it from bonding with the pavement. Once it sticks like that, it's almost impossible to remove it."

While the brine is a non-stick treatment, the salt and sand are used once the weather event is in progress to break up ice and turn it into a slush, which makes it easier to melt down.

"The treatment on the roads are creating a slush. The temperatures are going to stay below freezing and overnight it's even going to get down into the teens," Lane added.

Responders recommend you stay home, but that doesn't sit well with people who want to get back to work.

"I'm hoping that it kind of like slacks up a little bit, because I have to make money," Terrance Cunningham said.

If you do plan to hit the road, emergency crews urge you to let someone know where you're going and call when you arrive.

The inclement weather policy remains in effect for Memphis and Shelby County. If you get into an accident and no one is injured, you are asked to exchange insurance information and report the collision later.

Several schools and businesses will be closed Tuesday.

For the latest in weather updates, visit and click here to download the WMC Stormtrack 5 app on your Apple or Android device.

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