Tracking the storm is a nonstop job for TDOT crews
When winter weather is on its way, tracking the storm is a nonstop job for Tennessee Department of Transportation crews - both outside and inside.
"I know everyone thinks we're here to open the roads, and that is one of our focuses, but we're here to try to make sure everyone is safe," said Traci Netherton, who does traffic operations at TDOT's Transportation Management Center (TMC) in Enterprise South.
Inside the TMC, TDOT can be nearly a hundred places at once with 99 rotating live cameras on roads across the Tennessee Valley.
Lately, it's been an around-the-clock job.
"We pretty much have been for the last couple weeks, so we're kind of getting used to it now," Netherton said.
The TMC will dispatch crews to fix the slick spots.
On multiple monitors, they constantly watch local weather forecasts, traffic flow maps and temperature patterns. Road temperature tracking devices are placed in different locations and elevations across the city.
"That helps us pinpoint areas that may be more prone to freezing before other areas," said Netherton.
Bridges, overpasses, and entrance/exit ramps freeze first, so the "main traffic arteries" are the top priority. That means trucks will hit Interstates 75 & 24 and Highways 153 & 27 first.
While Tuesday night is expected to be quiet, another round of snow expected Wednesday evening means even more long hours ahead.
While TDOT keeps an eye on the next system moving in, they ask people to stay at home with their families instead of venturing out on the roads.