Winter storm drops snow, ice in South, making roads a messJanuary 13, 2018 2:28am

PARKERS CROSSROADS, Tenn. (AP) — James A. Jones saw enough cars stranded along the icy highway to know it was time to pull over as a winter storm blasted parts of Tennessee and Kentucky with sleet, freezing rain and snow Friday.

Jones counted 25 cars stuck by the road as he drove from Memphis to McMinnville, Tennessee, about 280 miles (450 kilometers) away. He decided not to risk it any longer and took a break in the West Tennessee town of Parkers Crossroads.

"It's rough riding," he said. "If you was in the wrecker business, you'd be making some money today."

The winter storm, which began with an icy mix before turning to snow, forced schools and businesses to close in Tennessee and Kentucky. Ice that coated broad swaths of the South snarled traffic.

Throughout the day, highway patrol troopers and road crews dealt with multiple crashes involving truck and cars along Interstate 40 between Memphis and Nashville. At least two tractor-trailers jackknifed and blocked Tennessee interstates.

Heavy snow made visibility difficult and a mixture of snow, ice and sand used to dry out the roads became a slushy mess and made for hazardous driving. Accidents on the busy interstate led to long lines of parked vehicles as drivers waited for crews to clear the highway.

Memphis police responded to more than 100 crashes. In Mississippi, a tractor-trailer overturned after crashing on icy Interstate 55, causing traffic delays.

In Tennessee, Kim Ruehl and Mercedes Volk waited out the storm at a fast-food restaurant in Parkers Crossroads with their 3-year-old daughter, Quinn, who snacked on a cheeseburger and milk.

They were heading from Asheville, North Carolina, to Fort Smith, Arkansas, to research a book. They stayed overnight in Nashville and were hoping to drive west through the storm in their Mini Cooper. They pulled off Interstate 40 because of the dangerous driving conditions.

"The windshield wipers froze and the road just got real bad," Ruehl said.

They weren't expecting such bad conditions, but they left early from Nashville anyway.

"An hour into our drive, I was like, we should have stayed in Nashville," Volk said.

In Kentucky, truck stop employee Paige Harville said traffic was much lighter than usual early Friday along Interstate 24 at Paducah.

"There's not much of it," she said. "Like nothing."

In nearby Mayfield in western Kentucky, postal workers arrived at work to find their delivery vehicles iced over. They had to de-ice the trucks before they could unlock them. Letter carrier Corey Asher was ready for treacherous conditions as he started his route.

"The snow covers up the sleet and ice, so where you think you might have solid footing you may not," he said. "So your steps have to be choppy today. You have to be real diligent about where you walk, and use hand rails."

Winter storm warnings were posted for the western halves of Tennessee and Kentucky as unseasonably warm weather in recent days gave way to winter conditions.

In western Kentucky, roads were covered with layers of ice. On top of that was about three tenths of an inch of sleet, said National Weather Service meteorologist Robin Smith.

"Don't go out unless you absolutely have to," Smith warned.

Winds up to 35 mph (56 kph) further complicated driving. By early afternoon, much of western Kentucky had 1-3 inches (3-8 centimeters) of snow. Parts of West Tennessee had 3-4 inches (8-10 centimeters).

Meanwhile, forecasters predicted 2-5 inches (5-12 centimeters) of snow in the Louisville and Lexington areas of Kentucky as temperatures dropped.

In West Virginia, floodwaters were blamed for the death of a woman who police say was driving in high water when she lost control and went into a creek. Her body was recovered from the sunken car.

Many school districts in Kentucky and Tennessee called off classes Friday. Several colleges and universities in both states also canceled classes, including at Vanderbilt University, Murray State University and Western Kentucky University.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam closed state offices Friday in West and Middle Tennessee because of the winter weather. And Kentucky House and Senate leaders called off Friday's legislative session.

___

Schreiner reported from Louisville, Kentucky. Associated Press writers Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama; Kelly P. Kissel in Little Rock, Arkansas; and Rebecca Reynolds Yonker in Louisville, Kentucky; contributed to this report.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

Dozens of flights canceled at Denver airport due to stormOfficials say about 190 flights have been canceled at Denver International Airport as a winter storm moves through Colorado
Kentucky assistant police chief fired for racist messagesCourt documents have revealed what ended the 25-year law enforcement career of an assistant police chief in the Louisville suburb of Prospect, Kentucky: Todd Shaw wrote in Facebook messages that he would shoot black children caught smoking marijuana
This photo provided by U.S. Geological Survey, sea turtle scientist Margaret Lamont pilots a boat loaded with 52 cold-stunned sea turtles scooped out of St. Josephs Bay in the Florida Panhandle. Lamont said cold-stunned sea turtles began appearing in St. Joseph Bay in early January 2018 as freezing temperatures gripped the region and water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico plummeted. "It’s now over 1,000, maybe up to 1,100," she told the Tampa Bay Times, referencing the number of turtles that had been collected so far from the bay. Usually that number is about 30 or 40. (U.S. Geological Survey via AP)
More than 1K cold-stunned sea turtles found in Florida bay
2 soldiers killed when Army helicopter crashes in CaliforniaThe Army says two soldiers from Colorado have been killed in a helicopter crash during training in the Southern California desert
Wilson back, No. 10 South Carolina women top Kentucky 81-64A'ja Wilson scored 26 points after missing two games because of an ankle injury and led No. 10 South Carolina over Kentucky 81-64
FILE- In this Nov. 14, 2017, file photo, John Dylan Adams looks back at family members after recess was called during a hearing to set a date for his trial in Savannah, Tenn. Judge C. Creed McGinley has given prosecutors and lawyers for Adams a Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. deadline to reach an agreement that would let him avoid trial. Adams is charged with kidnapping, raping and killing Bobo, who was 20 when she disappeared from her home in Parsons in April 2011. (Kenneth Cummings/The Jackson Sun via AP)
Man charged in Tennessee student's death could plead guilty
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices