A Winter Storm Warning was issued for Shelby County with sleet and freezing rain expected to move into the area on Monday morning.
In the early hours of Feb. 16 ice could be heard hitting roof tops across Shelby and Tipton counties. The National Weather Service said prior to the wintery mix, Shelby County could get one to three inches of sleet followed by periods of freezing rain.
“Our salt and sand trucks crews are ready. Brine solution has already been put on the roads in preparation for the ice,” said Tom Needham, director of Shelby County Public Works.
Despite the preparations, roads were still treacherous for most Presidents Day commute in the Shelby County area. An icy glaze covers streets, especially on bridges and overpasses. Both east and west bound sections of Highway 385 near I-240 have been shut down.
“Motorists should use extreme caution if they have to travel this morning,” Dale Lane said, director of the Shelby County Office of Preparedness. “Public works crews continue to put salt and cinders on roads throughout the county. Sleet is predicted for the area through mid-morning.”
The high temperatures for Monday stayed at or below freezing. The ice led to several non-serious traffic crashes, including a multi-vehicle crash on the west bound lane of I-40 between Appling and Sycamore View. Most are school systems were closed including Millington Municipal Schools and Shelby County Schools. Some government agencies and banks were already set to be closed for Presidents Day. Icy conditions have led to other closures including The University of Memphis and administrative offices at Shelby County Government. Citizens need to keep a close watch on relatives and friends, especially those who are elderly, disabled or live alone. Pets should also be sheltered. For vehicles in any winter weather situation, check the antifreeze level, windshield wipers and have a full tank of gas.
Here are some other winter weather safety tips:
· Avoid being outside if possible
· Dress warmly and wear layers of clothes
· Keep water lines dripping, insulate outside water faucets
· Have plenty of blankets should power go out
· If using a generator, make sure you vent the exhaust outdoors
· Never use charcoal indoors, vapors are deadly
For more information about preparing for winter weather, go to the Shelby County Office of Preparedness HLS/EMA Facebook Group or Twitter@SCOP_HLS_EMA or call (901) 222-6700.