City crews take defensive approach to snow-covered roads - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City crews take defensive approach to snow-covered roads

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

The icy, wintry mix is leaving cars sidelined, struggling to make their way through streets.

Instead of pre-treating roads with brine, city crews are taking on a defensive approach, something they haven't tried in years — snow plows.

"They're still dangerous. There's parts that they're very, I guess, clean," said Jackie Diaz. "But overall there's still a lot of snow on them."

The city has added two large motor graders to the mix to scrape the ice off the road. The fleet of 14 salt and sand trucks are paired with about 15 heavy pieces of equipment .

"We believe certain that we have around 5,000 tons of sand and 500 tons of salt. And you don't need as much salt as you do sand, because it's kind of a 1 to 4 ratio," said Dwan Gilliom, Director of Public Works.

Crews are dumping mix, scraping ice and pushing snow off roadways, and if it's not enough, the mayor says they're willing to pay for more.

"If we were to need more. We know where to get it . We might have to pay a little more but we know where we can buy it," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton. "So there's no need to panic."

Public works officials say they've been granted emergency requisition to go ahead and secure additional salt if this event lasts for more than three or four days.

City of Memphis CAO George Little released the following statement Thursday evening:

"City streets are freezing leading to hazardous conditions. Please stay off the streets tonight. Sand and salt crews will be out all night. With the extreme temperatures we recommend delaying morning departures, if possible. Conditions are expected to improve tomorrow."

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