Rain delays snow storm preps

A storm system that dropped snow on Arkansas and Texas on Thursday made its way east into Tennessee overnight.

Middle Tennessee already started receiving some heavy rain Friday morning.

That rain is expected to taper off and then return with high winds in the afternoon.

By early evening, the rain will turn into sleet and snow when the temperatures drop below freezing.

About three to five inches of snow could fall in Middle Tennessee.

Up to six inches of snow could fall on the plateau and in parts northwest of Nashville.

Western Tennessee and counties in the middle and northern part of the state are under a winter storm warning from 6 p.m. Friday until 12 noon Saturday.

With the rain arriving first, the Tennessee Department of Transportation said it will have a hard time preparing the roads for snow.

“This is not the best scenario as far as our ability to pre-treat the roads,” said TDO spokeswoman B.J. Doughty.

She said the brine, which is a mixture of water and salt, would just wash away with the rain.

“The salt is also not effective if it's raining,” she told News 2.  “We'll have to wait until it starts snowing so that there's something for the salt to stick to.”

Doughty said TDOT was able to treat the roads Thursday in Clarksville and on I-65 North near the Kentucky border, just in case.

She said those areas usually receive the snow before the Nashville area.

TDOT's main goals Friday will be to salt the roads and to plow them.

Doughty said TDOT is prepared.

“We have dozens and dozens of trucks.  All of our maintenance forces will be staying through the night.  They'll be out … as soon as the weather arrives… for the salt to be used on the road” she said.

Doughty hopes people will get home quickly Friday and not be out on the roads if they don't have to be.

TDOT is concerned that traffic tie-ups will slow down their work.

“It's difficult for our trucks to get out and cover all these miles of interstates and state routes if we're dealing with gridlock traffic,” said Doughty.

Some schools are already closed for Friday.

Benton, Decatur, Dickson, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Louis, and Perry County schools are closed in Tennessee.

Carroll County schools are closing at 12 noon Friday.

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