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ICE BLANKETS MT. JULIET

Mt. Juliet got its first blast of significant winter weather in 2021 this week, as ice and snow covered the city.
Heavy sleet started overnight Sunday into Monday and covered the ground. It looked like snow, but it was piled up ice pellets. That made for dangerous road conditions, but Mt. Juliet for the most part stayed safe on the roadways.
“There haven’t been any serious incidents, and that’s what we are thankful for,” said Mt. Juliet Police Department Captain Tyler Chandler in an update Monday evening.
Public Works crews hit the roadways Monday and got many roadways cleared, though a sheet of ice remained. A crew of six Public Works employees were rotating shifts 24 hours a day trying to get the roads cleared. The temperature was so cold Monday and Tuesday that the salt was not working so crews could only scrape the ice down and hope the sun would come out to get that radiant heat, or the temperature would go up a bit. MJPD had to ride along with the crews because motorists were passing the trucks trying to clear the roadways. Captain Chandler said this is a dangerous thing to do.
“Please let them do their thing, do not try to pass,” said Captain Chandler.
Chandler said that the crews will continue working on main roads, then secondary roads, and finally neighborhood roads that are known safety hazards.
Despite the conditions, there were only three crashes. MJPD also assisted 36 stranded motorists, and six motorists were cited for reckless driving for doing doughnuts and other unsafe activities.
Overnight Monday into Tuesday, first responders had to perform a water rescue at Cedar Creek Marina. A man slipped on the ice and got stuck between his boat and the dock. Thankfully, he did not require transport and was able to warm up in his boat after crews rescued him. Captain Chandler also said he had reports that children were walking on frozen ponds in some of the neighborhoods. He stressed to please don’t do that because the ice is not thick enough.
The hazardous conditions on the roadways were expected to stay through Wednesday. I-40 had some clearing, but still had patches of ice. All city roads were completely packed with ice, even the main roads.
Despite some clearing expected Wednesday, another round of winter weather is expected to come through that afternoon that could cause more travel concerns. As of press time, it was still unsure what that system would entail. Freezing rain, sleet and snow were all a possibility. The National Weather Service had Mt. Juliet in the 2-4 inches of snow, plus additional ice range. It should start as mixed precipitation in the afternoon and turn over to all snow Thursday.
“This week is one of those we will probably remember for a while,” said Captain Chandler.
The roads probably won’t be clear until Saturday or Sunday when temperatures get into the 40s and 50s.
City offices were closed Tuesday so administrative staff could stay home and off the roadways. They will remain closed Wednesday. Large sheets of ice were falling off the City Hall building Tuesday afternoon. Essential workers still reported to work.

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