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Kingsport road crews try to get ahead of winter storm

Staff report • Feb 12, 2014 at 7:59 AM

KINGSPORT — National Weather Service forecasts indicate the region is in line for another wintry punch, with the potential for widespread and substantial snowfall accumulations today.

As of Tuesday evening, a winter storm warning was scheduled to be in effect from 1 p.m. today through 7 a.m. Thursday. The NWS forecasting station in Morristown said daytime accumulations of 1 to 3 inches are possible, followed by additional accumulations between 2 and 4 inches during the night.

The NWS advises motorists to be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibility and to allow extra time to reach their destinations.

Kingsport’s Streets and Sanitation Department got to work Tuesday morning pre-treating the streets of the Model City with salt brine in anticipation of the winter storm expected to hit this afternoon.

“The crews are working to ensure our equipment is in good working order and everything that’s possibly running by tomorrow will be running,” said Ronnie Hammonds, streets and sanitation department manager. “We’re in the process of waiting and watching right now, going through all of our available weather predicting sources.”

Hammonds said Kingsport has about 2,300 tons of salt on hand, with deliveries coming in about every day during the past week. An average storm uses up about 1,000 tons, he said. As for equipment, the department has 28 pieces for snow removal, including four-wheel drive pickup trucks, dump trucks, a backhoe and road grader.

“A couple of pieces are down, but a majority of the equipment is in good order and up and running,” Hammonds said.

There’s a 40 percent chance of snow for Thursday, mainly before 11 a.m., before giving way to partly cloudy skies and a high near 41.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the NWS predicted snow to return on Friday, with a 40 percent chance of snow showers before noon. Friday night’s forecast called for a 30 percent chance of rain and snow showers with a low of about 25.

Staff writers Matthew Lane and Rain Smith contributed to this report.

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