Snow melts but problems still linger - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Snow melts but problems still linger

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Salt and sunshine continue to melt what's left of Tuesday's fast-falling snow, but at first it posed a challenge for the Polk County Highway Department because the snow was so dry and compact.

"It was just hard to scrape. You couldn't scrape the snow off because you would make ice," says superintendent Roy Thomason.

Unable to pre-treat the roads, Thomason says they had to begin spreading salt as quickly as possible to ease icing. But it wouldn't be easy.

"We would get stuck. We had one snow plow that went into a ditch," recalls Thomason.

They've been able to get things under control, even on most mountain roads, considering the small number of crews and equipment. But for some residents of River Bend Estates in Ocoee life is still not quite back to normal, even in the lower elevations.

"My neighbor across the street, he's been taking his wife to work," says 17-year resident Betsy Isham.

The retiree has been able to stay home, but she says the ride into the neighborhood has proved too much for a few of her neighbors' cars which have been left stranded at the bottom of the hill.

"About three or four maybe, their cars are still sitting at the end of the road," explains Isham.

The owners have to walk uphill to make it home. Their cars are still partially snow-covered with icicles hanging off them. Isham adds that it took two hours for one of her neighbors to get home from Chattanooga, Tuesday--a ride that normally takes less then half that time.  

While salt trucks continue to make rounds as needed, Thomason anticipates a little more help from mother nature to erase the signs of the winter wonderland.

"We're hoping for more heat and sun to take care of what's left and thaw," says Thomason.

But he urges motorists to beware of re-freezing and black ice.

After several snowfalls the past few years, Isham's ready to say goodbye to the white stuff and say hello to spring.

"I used to live in Colorado, so I've seen all the snow I care to see," says Isham, laughing.

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