Wintery conditions continue

Staff Reports

   Residents of Elizabethton and Carter County were spared the full force of Mother Nature's first dose of a wintry mix yesterday. Some of the coldest temperatures of the winter embraced the area last night.
   Icy roads in rural areas forced Carter County Schools to remain closed today. Elizabethton City Schools opened after a two-hour delay. There were numerous minor traffic accidents caused by slippery roads, despite the best efforts of road crews, and motorists driving too fast for the road conditions.
   Between 5:30 a.m. and noon yesterday, the Elizabethton Police Department investigated nine traffic accidents, all with no personal injury. During the same period, the Carter County Sheriff's Department investigated 10 traffic accidents.
   One county chat truck went off the road into a ditch near Cole Creek, Roan Mountain, yesterday. Jim Slemp, with the Carter County Highway Department, stated that the incident was not serious and another truck was able to pull it out of the ditch with chains.
   City snow plows were out again last night spreading salt on icy streets. City Manager Charles Stahl said the main streets, secondary streets and side streets were the order of priority.
   The County Highway Department deployed 13 of their chat trucks to tackle the snow and ice. The chat trucks will be running tandem in order to decrease the amount of time it takes to load the trucks with rocks.
   Slemp believes the County Highway Department is on top of things as far as the main roads are concerned, but the side roads are still slippery. He noted that areas like Roan Mountain will be particularly slick because the snow is much deeper there. "If we can just get the temperatures up a little bit today then we should be able to get everything cleaned up," Slemp said.
   Early yesterday morning, Arney Street had to be closed until a salt truck arrived. Other reported slick spots were on West G Street, Hattie Avenue and Milligan Highway.
   Nine city employees worked overtime, as necessary, to keep city streets free of ice and snow, according to Roger Moore, foreman with the City Street and Sanitation Department.
   Garbage collection in the city was delayed yesterday but crews had completed their routes by 1 p.m. Brush pickup was canceled.