TOP PHOTO: From the back porch to the interstate and all around Campbell County, there’s snow; deep snow in some areas.
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – After sun and 60s on Friday, nature flipped the switch to a full blown winter storm for our Saturday. There are challenges at every turn from power outages to downed trees to abandoned vehicles to treacherous driving conditions to near white outs to single-digit wind chills. Central Dispatch reports wrecks from Campbell County to Kentucky on I-75 with vehicles off roads all around.
Officials with LUB received the first calls of power outages before midnight and the snow began with wind being the main issue for the outages. Since, it’s been wind and wet heavy snow creating outages. At the moment, there are some spotty power outages. The biggest area of customers without power was more than 400 in the Doaks Creek Road-Mercury Drive-Old Middlesboro Highway portion of the valley. That was in the 3am hour, and those customers are back online.
Road Superintendent Ron Dilbeck describes roads as treacherous across Campbell County saying that snow totals range from two inches to six inches with the highest totals in the Jellico and valley areas. “As soon as we plow a road, it gets covered right back up it’s snowing so hard at times. The wind is also helping that,” said Dilbeck. County crews have also been clearing downed trees across roads.
“It’s almost a white out at times, and we clear a path here, and it gets covered right back up in about 10-15 minutes,” said Casey Boshears, Director of Public Works for the City of La Follette. Boshears crews have been going since 2am.
Dilbeck said the heavy rain around midnight immediately turned to heavy now just like that. It’s been snowing ever since with temperatures holding in the 20s all day with single-digit wind chills.
Around 4:30am, a Campbell County Highway Department truck flipped on its top at Newcomb on Creekmore Housley Drive. The Jellico Rescue Squad assisted the driver in getting out of the wreckage. The driver was taken to the hospital to be checked out. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED-03/12/2022-6AM-UPDATED – 03/12/2022-8AM))