Area emerging from snow blanket
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Feb 13, 2014 | 2129 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SnowBlanket
Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
BRADLEY COUNTY residents woke up this morning to find a world of white awaiting their first step outside. Snow fell off and on throughout the day Wednesday, but by late afternoon and through the night it dropped in buckets. In this photograph, a ruler measures the depth on this backyard deck to be seven inches. In some areas of the county, residents were reporting as much as nine. See plenty of photographs from across the Cleveland and Bradley County landscape on pages 12 and 20 of today’s edition.
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Trees and power lines are coated with snow and emergency crews from Cleveland Utilities and Volunteer Energy Cooperative have been busy restoring power. Up to 9 inches of snow fell on Bradley County and Cleveland, Polk and surrounding counties.

According to the Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency, an official eight inches of snowfall accumulation was reported.

Earlier Wednesday, temperatures hovered just above freezing as sleet turned to snow. Humidity levels increased, then snowfall tapered to sleet once again. As the day progressed, emergency managers and other officials monitored the winter storm.

As the daylight began to fade, a heavier snow began to collect on roadways, yards and trees in the area.

According to Jimmy Isom of CU, crews began working calls of power outages around 11 p.m.

“It was sporadic,” Isom said early today.

As of this morning, he said about 900 CU customers were without power.

“Around 3:30 a.m., crews were working on five circuits which had locked out,” Isom said.

Ken Webb, president and CEO of CU, also commented about the snow event.

“Trees weighted down with snow are attributed to most of the outages experienced,” Webb said.

Individual service lines were reportedly pulled from their meters, according to officials.

CBCEMA Administrative Officer Curtis Cline said county roads are being dealt with by Bradley County Road Department officials and city streets were beginning to clear as the sunshine returned this morning.

Tom Collins, BCRD road superintendent, reported trees hampered plows.

“There are a number of areas where trees have fallen in the roadways, slowing cleanup efforts for nine of our trucks,” Collins said. “There were reports of trees down in the Old Alabama Road, Tasso Lane, White Oak and Bancroft road areas, and other locations.”

In areas of the county, VEC has been busy restoring power due to fallen trees and lines.

According to Paige Finnell of VEC, 13,000 total customers in the region have been affected with 4,000 of those reported in Bradley County and 1,000 in Polk.

“We have VEC crews from other areas who have come to help us get power restored to those affected,” Finnell said.

Cleveland and Bradley County government offices were scheduled to open at noon today; however, officials later notified the Banner that offices and courts would remain closed until Friday.

City court cases have been moved to Feb. 20, according to Bradley County 911 officials. City and county schools have been cancelled today.

According to the National Weather Service forecast, conditions should improve today as sunshine warms roadways.

A high near 40 degrees is expected, but a dip in temperatures overnight will cause concerns about refreezing runoff and could cause black ice on roadways.

“Drivers should use extra caution Friday morning as temperatures are expected to be below freezing overnight tonight,” said CBCEMA Director Troy Spence.

Cloudy skies will return Friday, setting up for a chance of rain on Valentine’s Day.