Sixteen salt trucks are ready to battle the oncoming snow and ice that may come with a snow storm that the National Weather Services says could bring up to six inches of snow here.
City officials said road crews will report for duty at 11 p.m. Thursday to inspect certain routes and pre-treat priority areas, which includes bridges, overpasses, inclines, and declines, and then major intersections. Also, hospitals, police precincts, and fire stations will be treated to ensure they are ready to respond to emergencies.
If more than three inches of snow accumulates, the city will deploy eight snow plows, focusing on major streets like Poplar and Union.
The plows will create "snow rows" along the street and could create access issues for property owners, according to the statement from Memphis City Hall. In this instance, those property owners would be "responsible for addressing that issue, not the city."
City officials are encouraging drivers to stay off the roads. If you must drive, officials urge "extreme caution" and to treat all snow and ice equipment as emergency response vehicles, giving them extra space and avoiding interfering with their routes.
A winter storm warning has been issued for Shelby County by the National Weather Service and the storm has the "potential to cause lots of problems," according to local emergency management officials.
The warning begins at 12 a.m. Friday and ends at 9 p.m. Friday.
“We’re expecting snow and strong winds, which will make driving hazardous," said Dale Lane, Director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness. "Our staff will be coordinating the response efforts with the Memphis Office of Emergency Management,”
Public works crews will treat main roads, paying special attention to bridges and overpasses.
“This very brief winter storm has the potential to cause lots of problems," said Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr. "We’ll stay in close contact with the National Weather Service and our emergency services and public works coordinators throughout Shelby County,”
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said, “This is the time to check on your neighbors, seniors, and especially those who live alone. Pets should also be brought indoors.”
Here's some advice from the Shelby County Office of Preparedness -
Plan ahead for driving on snow and ice:
· Have a full tank of gas
· Check windshield wipers and the wiper fluid level
· Make sure defrosters are working
· Have de-ice spray for car windows, mirrors, headlights and taillights
As you travel:
· Keep headlights on (even during daylight hours)
· Drive slowly, especially when crossing bridges and overpasses
· Use lower gears to increase traction
· Do not use cruise control
· Leave two to three car lengths between you and other motorists
· If you skid, remove your foot from the accelerator. Turn steering wheel in the direction you want the car to turn
· Pump the brake pedal gently when you need to stop
· If you get stuck, clear the snow behind and in front of all four tires and spread sand or kitty litter in front of and behind the drive wheels
If you become stranded:
· Leave the vehicle if you are dressed for the weather and can walk to an occupied building or home
· Stay with your vehicle if you are in an isolated area. Hang a distress flag on the vehicle door or antenna
· Post a message on the windshield or window. If snow has not clogged the exhaust pipe, run the vehicle only 10 minutes per hour for warmth
For more winter preparation tips or information about the weather, go to the Shelby County Office of Preparedness website www.staysafeshelby.us or call (901) 222-6700.