Johnson City snow plows get late start, causes problems for morning commuters

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Several people reached out to News Channel 11 about snow covered roads in Johnson City and serious challenges traveling on roads during the Tuesday morning commute.

Josette Gust hard a hard time getting into downtown Johnson City Tuesday morning. She was traveling down Baxter street getting ready to turn right onto Unaka avenue she almost spun out.

“My breaks didn’t work, I slid, it was quite icy, quite a bit of ice under the snow,” Josette Gust said.

Ice and snow that hadn’t been plowed or treated. Gust was just one of several people we heard from through email and Facebook.

Patches of ice on the roads making travel difficult throughout the city.

“We didn’t get out as early as we had hoped or could have, but we acted on the basis of information in regards to when the snow began to fall or when the road conditions had deteriorated,” Johnson City Assistant Public works director Mike Aresenault said.

City officials crews got the call to come to work at 5:00 AM on Tuesday. Arsenault says that explains why their were so many complaints about roads not being plowed during the morning commute.

Sullivan county crews started an hour earlier than Johnson City. Chris Salley with the county highway department says timing with snow removal and salt application are key.

“Its knowing when to put it down and when to take it off, and that comes with experience,” Chris Salley said.

Back in Johnson City, Arsenault says they pre-treat roads on case by case basis and didn’t do it ahead of Tuesday’s snow because of rainy weather.

From now on Josette Gust says she will drive a little more carefully in the snow but at the same time wants the city to do their part in a timely fashion.

“I think it’s the individuals responsibility to be a safe driver and its the city’s responsibility to be on the roads and clearing them up as much as possible,” Gust said.

Johnson City public works officials says they plan on bringing crews in earlier on Wednesday morning.

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