Trucks of all trades: City prepares for winter weather - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Trucks of all trades: City prepares for winter weather

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Overnight, black ice is the biggest concern.

The Tennessee Valley has seen nine days of rainfall.

Roads are wet, and as Paul says, temperatures will drop.

The City of Chattanooga is rolling out a new fleet of winter weather prevention, paid for by taxpayers.

"It's not like the North, they get snow," a motorist says. "I'm actually from Maryland. This is nothing."

The threat of snow has passed.

But plummeting temperatures and wet roads have drivers worried about black ice.

"That's what we're looking out for," says Latisha Blackwell.

Chattanooga City crews spent the day loading salt trucks.

They'll be on standby overnight.

"We'll monitor the streets," Tony Boyd says. "We've got a small emergency crew that is here around the clock."

And they are armed like never before.

Last spring, the city purchased a fleet of new trucks.

You could call them trucks of all trades.

"All nine of those are equipped with six directional, six way plows," Boyd says. "We're kind of excited to see how they assist, how they help us out."

The trucks can vacuum leaves, pick up garbage and spread salt.

Thursday, they were outfitted with snow plows for their first winter weather event.

"They come in, off load that body, and pulled on the body that actually holds the salt and sand spreader, and we started mounting the plows," Boyd says.

Tony Boyd, with public works, says the city is stocked with 3,500 tons of salt and sand.

His team has trained for this day.

Now it's time to put more than a quarter million taxpayer dollars to work.

"Some of the initial roads are obviously the higher elevations, Elder Mountain Road up to guard shack, Ox and Scenic Highway, Big Ridge, Crest Road," Boyd says.

Boyd says some streets and bridges were pretreated with brine, but the rain likely washed some of that away.

As his new fleet hits the road, he's asking drivers to use caution.

"If you're not sure about black ice then your best bet is to go home," Boyd says.

Public works officials say the nine new trucks replaced 18 older models.

They hope to add four more.

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