Sevier County prepares for wintry blast

Nov. 26, 2013 @ 11:18 PM

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for snow in Sevier County in effect until 1 p.m. Wednesday. A winter weather advisory for snow means that periods of snow are expected or occurring, but should be light. Snow could linger through Wednesday night, and accumulation could be one to three inches.

The Weather Channel’s weather.com predicts that snow will begin in the morning and continue through Wednesday evening, expecting 1-2 inches of snowfall. The service estimates that there is a 90% chance of snow throughout the day.

In its advisory, the National Weather Service notes: “driving and walking may be difficult on untreated roadways and sidewalks. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities.”

Road Superintendent Jonas Smelcer said Tuesday that workers will be sent out to salt the roads in Sevier County as soon as necessary. “We’ll get the snow off the road and salt the roads,” Smelcer said. “As soon as there’s enough out there, we’re on it.”

Smelcer said Sevier County’s precautionary measures will not be negatively effected by the rain on Tuesday. The areas that could be at risk for flooding during a heavy rain should not be problematic for the county in clearing out roads.

“For the most part, we’re fine,” Smelcer said. “Most of our drain pipes are in pretty good shape.”

Smelcer said Sevier County crews are ready to go at night, prepared for the moment when severe weather might hit. “Half of our employees are on standby for tonight,” Smelcer said. “If it happens in the night, we start immediately. We have another crew for the morning.”

Bridge structures will be salted first because they are the first to freeze, Smelcer said.

Smelcer hopes the winter weather advisory amounts to not much. “I’m hoping that the warm air will get trapped here and it won’t get out,” he said.