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"It's going to be longer event than we are accustomed to" | City of Memphis & TDOT crews clear roads before more snow arrives

The busiest and most traveled city and state roads are the first priority, as most side streets remained slippery, slick, and snow covered Tuesday.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — "The calls keep coming. They aren't letting up any," Darius Woods said.

Consider Woods - a tow truck driver - a cautionary tale for other Memphis drivers who considered venturing out on snow covered streets Tuesday.

"Bad batteries, cars slipping, people coming in their driveways, can't get into their driveways," Woods added.

City of Memphis snow plow trucks spent Tuesday clearing main roads, like White Station Road, before more winter weather arrives Wednesday and Thursday.

"It's going to be a longer event than we are typically accustomed to. We are asking our citizens be patient and understanding," City of Memphis Public Works Director Robert Knecht said.

While conditions on the busiest roads improved somewhat since Monday, nearly all side streets remained slippery and saturated with snow.

"Where no traffic goes, I mean those are the worst," Woods said.

"It's just not worth taking the chance. A lot of people have never driven on these types of conditions," Dennis Richards added.

The Tuesday temperatures were too cold for the city of Memphis' salt trucks to be effective, so a total of 14 city and contracted snow plows prioritized where to tackle - to the most heavily driven areas.

"Most of the years we don't have these kind of events, that's why we only have a smaller fleet of snow and ice (vehicles) compared to a city of our same size in the North," Knecht said.

City crews also assisted TDOT crews on busy state roads such as Walnut Grove.

30 local TDOT crews are still primarily responsible for snow removal on state roads such as Poplar Avenue and more than 20 others. This, after an agreement in the summer of 2018 passed off the city's maintenance of state roads within the Bluff City to TDOT.

"We have been working 24 hours since Sunday, since this event started, and we will continue working 24 hours until we get these roads cleared," Brandon Akins with TDOT said.

The city of Memphis' public works director reminded Memphians that any snow moved by plow trucks onto private driveways and sidewalks, that it's up to the homeowner - not the city - to shovel and clear that precipitation.


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