Winter weather hits Sequatchie Co., emergency shelter open - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Winter weather hits Sequatchie Co., emergency shelter open

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Photo by WRCB reporter Natalie Potts Photo by WRCB reporter Natalie Potts

Officials have opened up an emergency shelter in Dunlap for anyone in need. Icy conditions led to several wrecks Wednesday morning, leaving many people stranded. 

"Right now all of our roads are basically closed in the mountains due to the ice forming," said Wilfred Smith, Emergency Management Director of Sequatchie County. "From what they're telling us right now, it's going to get worse before it gets better."

Roads were down right dangerous with a surface temperature of 24 degrees. It didn't take long for ice to cause problems. 
" We've got a number of accidents on all of the mountainous roads," said Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock. "Some we haven't actually made it to at this time because there are so many." 
Highway 111 was shut down for several hours, leaving drivers stranded at the bottom of Cagle Mountain and at the top where a salt truck reportedly flipped over. Officials said there were jack-knifed tractor trailers, single vehicle crashes and multiple car pile ups. 
"I pulled over on the side, knowing that I was going to slide, and then a couple of cars tried to attempt the bridge and they slammed right into me pinning me up against the wall and then it was pile up, pile up, pile up," said Kathryn Deberry. 

It was too dangerous for our cameras to go any further. Cameras captured a salt truck sliding across the icy roads in Marion County, showing just how easy it is to lose control. 
"Stay at home if you can at all," said Sheriff Hitchcock. " Stay off the roads, stay safe and give us time to get the roads cleared up."

Rescue squad officials said the shelter will remain open as long as there is a need. If you need food, water of a place to sleep tonight, you can go to the shelter at the Rescue Squad located off of Rankin Avenue in Dunlap. 

Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock told us Highway 111 has opened back up Wednesday afternoon to just one lane on the north and southbound sides going through Sequatchie County.

TDOT officials said the roads were treated with brine on Tuesday. There's no word on how many accidents happened. Dispatch could only say it was too many to count at this time.

Stay with Channel 3 for your winter weather updates.

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