4WARN Weather Alert

TDOT prepares the roads ahead of winter weather

NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Crews are out laying brine on the roads ahead of snow and icy conditions.

Tennessee Department of Transportation's big focus is on rush hour Tuesday morning, that's why trucks have been going to the salt barns and filling up on brine.

Brine, a mixture of water and rock salt, is being placed on major interstates. Representatives for TDOT said the worst hit areas will probably span from around Murfreesboro down to the counties along the Alabama border.

TDOT said they are placing the brine Monday despite rain moving in Monday night. They don't believe it'll be enough rain to undo the effects of the brine.

Ultimately, they say, they have no idea how much salt and brine will end up being used.

"At this point, we just don't know what we're getting. So, on TDOT's end, we're just preparing for the worst, but I have no idea of telling you what the roads will look like the first thing in the morning," said Kathryn Schulte with TDOT.

As for the salt, TDOT reps said they've got trucks ready to go just as soon as the rain lets up. They said they want a layer of salt on the ground for when the temperatures drop and that water starts to freeze.

Make sure to check your pipes!

If you haven't already, make sure to take precautions with the pipes in your homes. It turns out Tennesseans have more problems with frozen pipes than most of the country.

Tennessee had the fourth-highest amount of insurance payoffs for pipes. More than 800 claims were filed according to State Farm.

Damages cost more than $15 million for the entire state in 2018. Only Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania were worse.

  • When temperatures drop, experts recommend leaving your faucets trickling with hot and cold water.
  • Let the warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet or an outside wall.
  • You can also open your cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances.

Preparing your car for winter weather

According to AAA, the most common roadside services needed during the winter months are for towing and dead batteries. Check your battery and make sure your battery cables are not worn out.

If it's possible, make sure to keep your gas above half a tank. If you're stuck on the side of the road waiting for a tow, the extra gas is going to keep your car running longer and keep you warmer.

It's extremely important to make a winter weather safety kit for your car with essential items such as extra water, hand warmers, extra food, flashlights, extra batteries, and an ice scraper.

Protecting your pets from winter weather

With winter weather moving in, Metro Animal Care and Control is reminding residents all across middle Tennessee to protect their furry friends and bring them in from the outside air.

Protecting your pets from freezing temps ahead of winter weather

A Metro Nashville ordinance prohibits tethering a dog when temperatures drop below 32 degrees. Puppies less than six months old as well as pregnant and nursing dogs must also be brought inside.

If pets are left outside, they need to be provided with a warm, solid shelter like a dog house to protect against wind and elements and insulate their body against the cold.

Make sure your pets have proper micro-chipping or identification tags in case they get separated from you. Make sure your family's emergency plans include your pets and keep food and water on hand in case you are unable to make it to the store.

Speak with your veterinarian about your pet's dietary and medical needs. It's highly encouraged that outside pets be brought indoors at night.

Protecting yourself and your kids from winter weather

With dangerously cold temperatures expected, the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your kids is to stay inside. Doctors say the two biggest concerns are hypothermia and frost bite. Young kids and the elderly are most at risk.

"It's really hard to determine when you've been out in the cold too long," said Dr. Corey Slovis with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, "When you start getting symptoms of tingling, loss of sensation, burning, it's time to get inside. If your hands get numb, or your ear, or your nose, you're at risk for frostbite and there's no way to absolutely predict it."

If you do have to get out Tuesday, Dr. Slovis said you should dress in layers and stay covered. Wear hats, scarves, gloves, and any other winter attire you have when temperatures reach below freezing.

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Forrest Sanders is an award-winning reporter, videographer and editor at News4.

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Joey is an award-winning Digital Content Producer on the WSMV Digital Team! A graduate of the University of South Carolina-Aiken, Joey joined WSMV in September 2018. He's happy to be Working 4 You!


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