Road crews, retailers prepare for threat of winter weather - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Road crews, retailers prepare for threat of winter weather

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- A mention of winter weather packs grocery stores and gets road crews rolling.

It's been an extremely mild winter. But if Thursday night is the night Old Man Winter finally pays a visit to the Scenic City, road crews, retailers, the young and the young at heart will be ready.

It's all hands on deck for TDOT road crews.

Eighteen trucks, each filled with ten tons of salt, are on standby should old man winter finally appear.

"The people on Monteagle are doing the same thing up there that we are doing here," TDOT Spokeswoman Jennifer Flynn tells Channel 3. "Cookville and Crossville, all of our maintenance crews are getting ready."

And thanks to an extremely mild winter so far, crews are armed with plenty of salt, a stark contrast from this time last year.

"We were one good snow storm away from totally running out of salt," Flynn says.

This time last year TDOT had used 50,000 tons of salt. This year the department has only used 8,000 tons.

The same is true at Ace Hardware on Dayton Boulevard.

"We haven't had a winter, so our winter sales have not been so strong," manager, Robert Strickland says.

Robert Strickland is hoping to unload stacks of sleds and bouquets of shovels.
Just the mere mention of the white stuff has business booming at local Bi-Lo's.

"Usually bread and milk are the first thing to go on a lousy weather day," shopper, Andy Hamilton says.

Among those shopping, kids and teachers who are hungry for a snow day.

"The middle schoolers were excited, but the elementary schoolers were super psyched," teacher, Carmen Veller says.

Others are trying not to get their hopes up, because so far, winter has let them down.

"The only reason it's not snowing is because we bought sleds for the kids," Hamilton says. "That's why it's not snowing."

TDOT plans to be out all night, keeping a close eye on the roads.

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