published Friday, January 25th, 2013

Greater Chattanooga area schools close as region prepares for icy weather

Chattanooga Public Works employees Jessey Harvey, left, and Eus Hamilton prepare to mix salt and water to make a brine solution at their downtown city yards Thursday afternoon. City trucks sprayed thousands of gallons of the solution on roads, bridges and overpasses in anticipation of overnight winter weather.
Chattanooga Public Works employees Jessey Harvey, left, and Eus Hamilton prepare to mix salt and water to make a brine solution at their downtown city yards Thursday afternoon. City trucks sprayed thousands of gallons of the solution on roads, bridges and overpasses in anticipation of overnight winter weather.
Photo by John Rawlston.
  • photo
    Chattanooga Public Works employee Jessey Harvey mixes salt and water to make a brine solution at the downtown city yards Thursday afternoon. City trucks sprayed thousands of gallons of the solution on roads, bridges and overpasses in anticipation of overnight winter weather.
    Photo by John Rawlston.
    enlarge photo

SCHOOL CLOSINGS AND DELAYS

• Athens City Schools will be closed Friday.

• Bachman Academy will be closed Friday.

• Bledsoe County Schools will be closed Friday.

• Bradley County Schools will be closed Friday.

• Bright School will be closed

• Calhoun City Schools will be on a 2-hour delay

• Catoosa County Schools will be closed Friday.

• Chickamauga City Schools will be closed Friday and the Winterfest event at Chickamauga Elementary School is cancelled and will be rescheduled.

• Chattanooga Charter will be closed Friday.

• Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy will be closed Friday.

• Chattooga County Schools will be on a 3 hour delay Friday.

• Chattanooga Christian School will be closed Friday.

• Cleveland City Schools will be closed Friday.

• Cleveland State (all sites) will be closed

• Dade County Schools will be closed Friday.

• Dalton City Schools will be closed

• Dayton City Schools will be closed Friday.

• Dekalb County AL Schools will be on a 3-hour delay

• Etowah City Schools will be closed Friday.

• Ft. Payne City Schools will have a 3-hour delay

• Gordon County Schools will be closed

• Grundy County Schools will be closed

• Hamilton County Schools will be closed Friday.

• Jackson County and Scottsboro schools will be on a 3 hour delay Friday.

• Marion County Schools will be closed Friday.

• McMinn County Schools will be closed Friday.

• Meigs County Schools will be closed Friday.

• Murray County Schools will be closed

• Notre Dame will be closed Friday.

• Polk County Schools will be closed Friday.

• Rhea County Schools will be closed Friday.

• Sequatchie County schools will be closed

• Silverdale Baptist Academy will be closed Friday.

• Tennessee Temple University will be closed Friday.

• Whitfield County Schools will be closed Friday.

After a week of sunshine and blue skies, wintry weather slid into the Chattanooga region today.

Freezing rain is forecast for the area early this morning, setting up the possibility of up to a quarter of an inch of ice covering roads, trees and power lines by the time morning commuters and school buses hit the streets.

Administrators with several school systems made the decision Thursday afternoon to call off classes today, given the danger of slick roads.

Hamilton County Emergency Services is advising people to stay off the roads and bridges if things get icy, according to a news release.

An ice glaze is possible, said David Karnes, the morning meteorologist at WRCB-TV.

"There will be potential power outages from fallen trees, as well," he said.

Forecasters said temperatures were expected to drop to the upper 20s Thursday night and hover there early this morning before reaching the upper 30s later in the day.

The main event, ice, is expected to start around rush hour this morning and possibly continue through midafternoon, according to Jessica Winton, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Morristown, Tenn.

Chattanooga's Public Works Department was out preparing for the poor weather.

"We're currently putting salt brine out on all bridges, higher elevations, and primary arterial roads in and out of the city," Tony Boyd, assistant director of operations for public works, said Thursday.

Salt and sand vehicles await orders at three main outposts around the city in the event that the weather deteriorates further. The city also had prepped teams with chain saws and safety equipment in case of power outages and downed trees, Boyd said.

The cold is supposed to clear out quickly, however.

By tonight, the rain should mostly have moved through the area. High temperatures from tonight through Saturday are expected to be in the 30s and 40s.

Early next week, highs are expected to be in the 60s.

about Lindsay Burkholder...

Lindsay Burkholder is originally from Winston-Salem, N.C. She graduated from Covenant College in May 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. While at Covenant she spent time writing for and editing the news section of the school newspaper, The Bagpipe. Burkholder also attended the World Journalism Institute in New York City in 2011.

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