CITY PREPPED FOR WINTER WEATHER
Brace yourself: Temperatures are plummeting to bone-chilling cold. A good chance for precipitation is forecast. Could Knoxville possibly see another white Christmas, like in 2020?
Maybe. Or possibly Old Man Winter will hold off with the snow until 2023.
Whenever winter weather arrives, the men and women of the City’s Public Service Department will be ready to respond – quickly, in big numbers, and with the right equipment, supplies and expertise.
“We’re ready to roll as needed,” Public Service Director Chad Weth said. “With Knoxville’s hills, even a moderate snow can wreak some havoc. So we emphasize proactive pre-treatment of streets with brine. And if a weather situation worsens, we’re able to load and deploy 23 salt trucks and crews almost immediately.”
With a mild winter last year, the City has a full stockpile of salt in storage. But Weth says an effective response to a winter storm is determined by skilled people, planning and training as much as by trucks and materials.
“Our City crews take snow response seriously,” Weth said. “It’s on us to keep major traffic arteries open and to make sure ambulances can safely get to hospitals. We have a great team of experienced professionals, and we plan and train extensively each year in the fall to improve our responses to snowstorms.”
The Public Service Department has resources ready to deploy whenever needed:
- Up to 20,000 gallons of brine, which is mixed at the City’s Public Works Service Center;
- 10,000 gallons of calcium chloride, used in extreme temperatures;
- 2,000 tons of rock salt;
- 23 trucks used for plowing and salting;
- Seven trucks used for brine application; and
- Up to 75 employees as needed for storm response.
Before snow falls, the City systematically and predictably pre-treats and then clears streets by following its Snow and Ice Removal Plan. Level I streets get immediate attention, followed in order by Level II and then Level III streets:
- Level I – main streets carrying the highest volume of traffic and providing access to hospitals; examples include Kingston Pike, Chapman Highway, Magnolia Avenue and Broadway
- Level II – streets connecting main streets, feeder streets to connector streets, and “trouble spots” and hills; examples include Sutherland Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Moody Avenue, Island Home Avenue and Cedar Lane
- Level III – streets that are connectors to neighborhoods and main connections at the neighborhood level; examples include Woodland Avenue, Jessamine Street, Bridgewater Road and Oglewood Avenue