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07 January 2010 @ 08:39 pm
Snow, ice, and slush, and the driving thereupon  
Let's get this out of the way: everyone north and northwest of me can laugh now :-).

So. It's been at or below freezing for six consecutive days, here in Knoxville (record is 12 days). Today, we got the remnants of the storm that's been socking in the Midwest. It started about 1:30, and is still falling. I'm guessing about 1-1.5 inches of snow have fallen so far.

We've known this was coming, and every major road and most secondary roads in Blount and Knox county were heavily, heavily treated with snow-melt solution earlier today (I don't think it's plain NaCl, but some specialty compound, which is why I'm not calling it salt). I could be wrong), so on roads where people are driving, it's turned into slippery slush. On roads where people aren't driving, it's VERY slippery snow and in a lot of places ice. I am extremely grateful that we decided to buy the lot on the west side of the street, with the relatively flat driveway, rather than the one on the east side with about a 60-degree slope up to the garage.

I normally estimate 40-45 minutes to get home from work. Tonight was just over two hours.

On the bright side, however, there were relatively few accidents reported on the radio -- a couple of multi-car pileups on Chapman Highway (I hope they're all okay), a car into a pole at Ebenezer and Gleason (I hope they're all okay), and a few outside Knoxville (one out by Midtown, the caller reported that someone was being loaded into an ambulance; I hope they're all okay). None (as of 7:15 when I got home) on I-40 in the city, none on the Pellissippi Parkway, and none on Alcoa Highway. I didn't even see any cars in the ditch until just before I got home.

Everyone around me was driving very sanely: slowly but steadily, and leaving lots of room between cars. I did slip -- very slightly -- off the road as I was coming around the last curve on Montvale; fortunately, that's a very shallow spot and I was able to get back on the road surface without much difficulty.

The radio weather guys are saying, by the way, that this is behaving much more like the huge ice storm of 1980, rather than any of the more usual snowstorms, and that tomorrow is likely to be even more hazardous as everything freezes overnight.

Every school in about a 10-county radius is closed, even Maryville City, except, of course, UT.
Stephen Harrissweh on January 8th, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC)
Take a sick day; if you do attempt to go to work you could end up _very_ sick. Preventing sickness is a good use for a sick day :-)