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‘Nasty’ weather headed our way

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Ice, freezing rain, snow to hit Friday afternoon; schools remain on normal schedule

By BEN CARLSON

UPDATED 4:30 P.M. THURSDAY — A nasty winter mix is expected to hit Anderson County late Friday afternoon, dumping a layer of ice followed by freezing rain and several inches of snow.

Local officials received a briefing by the National Weather Service this afternoon, warning that our area should expect one-tenth of an inch of ice starting around 4 p.m., followed by freezing rain for several hours.

That will be followed by what is expected to be 2 to 3 inches of snow, which will continue to fall into early Saturday morning.

Judge-Executive Orbrey Gritton said the county highway crew is already preparing for the weather.

“We have chains on the trucks and are ready to go,” said Gritton, who attended a conference call with fire chiefs Bobby Hume and Pat Kroger, along with Emergency Management Director Bart Powell and Deputy Director John Shuttleworth.

Gritton asked people to stay home once the bad weather arrives.

“Unless it’s an emergency, please stay home,” he said. “We are prepared as we can be, and will be out there for duration of this storm.”

School Superintendent Sheila Mitchell said schools will operate on a normal schedule Friday.

“Staff will closely monitor forecasts as winter weather approaches,” she said.

“Please make sure transportation information at your child’s school is up to date in the event schools need to dismiss early. Be sure to check social media and local news in the morning in case the forecasts change.”

Gritton said because rain is forecast up until the time the roads are expected to freeze, pretreating them is pointless.

“It wouldn’t do us any good to pretreat the roads,” he said. Any type of pre-treatment we do is just going to wash off. We’ll have to wait until the ice is there, then start pre-treating.”

Gritton said the hope is that by the time snow begins to fall, the salt used to treat the roads will have melted the ice.

“Then we can put our blades and start pushing the snow and can get the roads pretty clean.”

Experts with the National Weather Service told local officials that Friday’s storm is expected to have “considerably more impact” than the one that came through Monday morning, which caused upwards of 50 accidents in Anderson County due to icy roads.

“It’s going to be nasty,” the experts said.

Check back here for more details as they become available.