Photo by David Grace.
Update: 5 p.m.
Snow and sleet continued to fall in areas of Southwest Virginia Friday afternoon, causing the Virginia Department of Transportation to warn motorists that road conditions could change rapidly.
A VDOT spokeswoman said most secondary routes in Southwest Virginia — those number 600 and under — are still snow-covered and slick due to the winter weather.
According to a VDOT reports, road conditions in Scott County have been particularly impacted by the winter weather, with most primary and secondary routes there still slick due to snow cover.
VDOT is also advising motorists on primary routes in Lee and Wise counties to be alert to slick road conditions caused by slushy and icy patches.
Update: 3:15 p.m.
According to TDOT officials, all counties from Morgan County to Johnson County in East Tennessee had been treated for icy conditions mid-afternoon. Despite that progress, officials are still advising motorists to use caution while traveling.
TDOT said maintenance crews would continue to treat all interstates in the 24-county Region 1 since temperatures continue to hover in the high 20s and lower 30s.
Officials said they are still seeing ice on roadways in some areas, with trees also falling in various spots.
Crews will also continue to address icy conditions on roadways, bridges and overpasses as necessary throughout the evening.
Update: 1:10 p.m.
Sleet and freezing rain created hazardous driving conditions across Southwest Virginia as Friday's storm swept across the region beginning early in the morning.
At around 11 a.m. Harmon Kilgore, a maintenance operations manager at the Virginia Department of Transportation's Wise Residency office, said conditions were at the "moderate" level which was hazardous enough at that time.
"We're pretty much covered out there with ice and slush," he said. "We got some salt down beforehand which was great so it started slushing up. Right now we've got it where you can travel, but I wouldn't advise anybody getting out without 4-wheel drive and snow tires or chains right now."
U.S. Route 23 through Wise County featured one lane slushy and the other icy, he said, and State Route 83 through Pound was icy and slushy.
"One thing we're hoping for is for this thing to be a fast mover and be out of here before tonight and we can get a grip on it," Kilgore said.
Update: 12:05 p.m.
Through 7 p.m. an ice storm warning is in effect for areas west of the Tri-Cities, including Hawkins County and Lee County, Va.
The National Weather Service reports ice accumulations of a quarter to a half an inch are possible through Friday evening, when the precipitation is expected to taper off.ã€€
The NWS warns that the icy conditions will create hazardous driving conditions and may pull down trees and power lines, mainly ins sheltered valleys where freezing rain may linger longer.
For the latest forecasts and weather statements visit the National Weather Service.
A Tri-Cities Regional Airport spokesperson syas runways are in good condition with maintenance crews working to keep everything clear. There are a few delays which can be viewed at Triflight.com.
Update: 11:22 a.m.
According to a Tennessee Department of Transportation weather and roads update for our region, Sullivan County roads are wet, while Washington County roads are wet with icy spots.
Hawkins County roads are icy and being treated by TDOT road crews and Unicoi County roads are also slick and being treated. Johnson County roads were reported as dry.
Update: 8:56 a.m.
Less than two hours after precipitation began falling on the region Friday morning, iced over roads are already creating numerous vehicle crashes in Kingsport, including the rollover of an SUV.
As of 8:50 a.m. scanner traffic was reporting "sheets of ice" on John B. Dennis Highway and heavy icing on West Carter Valley Road. At the entrance ramp from Fort Henry Drive to John B. Dennis a vehicle had exited the roadway, rolled over and entrapped the driver. It also knocked down a power pole.
The driver was extricated and transported to an area hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Traffic in the area was being slowed not only due to the collision but also the numerous stretches of black ice, especially over bridges. Motorists are urged to use caution.
A low pressure system moving over our region is expected to bring a wintry mix of precipitation today, resulting in ice accumulations and the possibility of one to four inches of snow.
The National Weather Service Forecasting Station in Morristown, Tenn., expects rain, sleet and snow beginning Friday morning. As temperatures slowly rise throughout the day the precipitation is forecast to mix with or change to freezing rain and rain in the afternoon, with widespread ice accumulations of between a tenth and quarter of an inch expected across most areas.
The NWS warns that icy conditions are likely to create hazardous roadways and walkways, with accumulating ice having the potential of pulling down trees and power lines.
Motorists are urged to drive cautiously and give themselves extra time to reach their destinations. As of early Friday morning a winter weather advisory is in effect until 7 p.m. Friday.
The NWS has also issued a freezing rain advisory for many counties west of the Tri-Cities, including Hawkins and Greene. It is also in effect until 7 p.m.
For the latest forecast and weather statements visit the National Weather Service.