|November 12, 2013 - That time of year already? Yes, the National Weather Service has forecast the possibility of snow in parts of East Tennessee today. With the arrival of winter weather, the City of Knoxville's Public Service Department is prepared and recently completed its annual snow and ice training for employees. The department's snow plan for the year is online at http://www.cityofknoxville.org/services/snow.asp.
The plan, updated during the fall of each year, details how the City responds to various types of snow and ice events, how it prioritizes City streets for treatment, and the resources the department has to combat winter storms. There are also descriptions of what constitutes Level I streets – the ones carrying the greatest volume of traffic or that carry traffic to hospitals – along with maps and a list of frequently asked questions concerning the City's response to snowy conditions.
"Depending on the type of weather, we have up to 180 employees and 21 pieces of equipment ready to deal with it," said Public Service Director David Brace. "The snow plan gives us a template for setting priorities and letting everybody know what to expect."
City crews typically pre-treat streets with a salt brine solution, which helps prevent snow from bonding with the road surface and lowers the melting point, prior to the arrival of snowy weather. Pre-treatment, depending on the weather, can be done 48 hours prior to a snow or ice event and can be done at night or during non-busy traffic periods.
In addition to focusing on keeping main routes open during storms, crews also respond to calls from the Knoxville Police Department and Knoxville Fire Department for emergency services.