Road crews on standby for wintry weather - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Road crews on standby for wintry weather

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Mid-South is expected to receive more wintry weather on Wednesday. A winter storm warning will go into effect at 12 p.m. Wednesday.

Road crews around the Mid-South are preparing to treat roads, which are expected to become slick with sleet and ice.

DeSoto County

Crews in DeSoto County, Mississippi, stood by all day Tuesday as rain moved through the area. It will be a quick turn around for those same road crews as they prepare for Wednesday's possibility of snow and ice.

Previously, Mississippi road crews pretreated highways and busy state routes like Goodman Road, but because of the recent rain, doing so is not an option. 

Transportation leaders says pretreating roads during the rain is a waste of time and money. The rain simply washes away the salt and brine pretreatment.

The DeSoto County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook saying they will bring in additional personnel and resources to respond to weather-related issues.

In Oxford, Mississippi, the Oxford School District says they will continue to monitor the weather.

Shelby County

TDOT crews had the same train of thought as DeSoto County. The roads across Shelby County were not pretreated because of the rain.

"We have our drivers get in the trucks and start driving their routes," Knecht added. "We also have supervisors out in he fields and inspecting routes and temperatures looking at what's going on and trying decide if there is something going on we don't know about so we can try to get to it earlier."

There is plenty of material to put on the roads. The main roads, bridges, and overpasses will be treated first.

Still, some Mid-Southerners are uncomfortable driving in the icy weather. 

Cash Saver and Home Depot have both sold out of salt and ice melt.  However, Home Depot's Drew Gentry says another product, Damp Rid, is still in stock and works just as well.

Some Mid-Southerners are getting creative.  Gentry says he's seen people buy oil dry, sweeping compound, cat litter, and rubber mats.

Others are avoiding the roads and sticking to another plan: buying a lot of food

To help with future winter storms, City of Memphis made a big decision on Tuesday.

"Being a southern city, we don't receive a lot of inclement weather, a lot of snow and ice, typically, you know?" said Robert Knecht, Memphis Public Works. "But there has been some interest, so what we are looking at is purchasing some units to attach to some of our heavy equipment fleets."

Seven to 10 snow plow attachments will be purchased by Memphis Public Works in the next few months. The new attachments should be ready to use in 2016.

The final cost of the attachments is still being evaluated, but each attachment costs between $5,000 to $7,000. The money used to make the purchase will come from Memphis Public Works' budget.

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