by SARAH KINGSBURY
Spring break is only two weeks away, but Monday was wholly winter. Williamson County Schools will be closed again Tuesday while the Franklin Special School District opted to open two hours late.
Spring break is only two weeks away, but Monday was wholly winter.
A cold front that dropped in late Sunday turned rain into sleet, and by morning commuters found themselves driving on sheets of ice. The wintry weather caused problems throughout Middle Tennessee, but especially in unincorporated parts of Williamson County.
eEverybodyes roads just froze over in a short period of time,e said Franklin Street Director Joseph York, whose crews used about 240 tons of salt on city roads.
Public safety agencies reported several multi-vehicle crashes, including one that briefly shut down Interstate 65 south near Old Hickory Boulevard in Brentwood during the peak of morning rush hour Monday.
As the cold set in Sunday, Franklin officers working a crash on I-65 south were struck by a passing driver, 20-year-old Duck River resident Garrison Dudley, who hydroplaned into the back of the patrol cars. He was cited for failure to exercise due care and for not having insurance, according to a Tennessee Highway Patrol report. One of the officers, Timothy Damm, was injured and taken to Williamson Medical Center.
Numerous businesses were closed and government buildings shut down early or took the day off Monday. Public school officials were forced to take yet another snow day and nearly every higher education institution canceled classes.
Williamson County Schools will be closed again Tuesday while the Franklin Special School District opted to open two hours late.
Tuesday’s forecast calls for a partly cloudy skies with a high of 35 in the afternoon. Morning commute temps are expected to still be in the teens, however, and motorists are urged to take care due to anticipated black ice returning overnight.
At the peak of the storm, about 750-800 homes reported power outages, but that number had been reduced to less than 50 by nightfall, with a cluster in Fairview on the western side of the county.
Calls started flooding in to law enforcement and emergency responders at about 5 a.m. Monday and edidnet slow down for hours,e said Williamson County Emergency Management Agency Director Mac Purdy.
eThey just worked accident after accident,e he said.
Some were injury crashes but many were simply property damage.
The impact of the ice storm was felt countywide.
Public meetings and sporting events scheduled for Monday night were postponed. In Brentwood, the Park Board moved its meeting to Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and the Planning Commission will meet at 7.
A class-AAA sectional basketball game between Kenwood and Brentwood High was rescheduled, though a new date has not yet been set. The Cheatham County at Christ Presbyterian Academy sectional game was moved toe7 p.m. Tuesday.
The icy conditions closed CoolSprings Galleria four hours early.
In Franklin, a neighborhood meeting about a proposed assisted living center at 7007 Moores Lane was canceled and will be rescheduled. Garbage collection, which was suspended Monday, was expected to resume Tuesday, said city spokesman Milissa Reierson.
Williamson County parks facilities were closed Monday and planned to reopen at 11 a.m. Tuesday or their regularly scheduled later time.
But with temperatures hovering below freezing all day, many roads could become treacherous as melted water refreezes and forms black ice. The National Weather Service warned drivers to use caution through mid-morning Tuesday.
EMA officials reduced staffing Monday night but were preparing for the possibility that another night of extreme cold could bring down tree limbs and power lines, or slick spots on rural roads.
Still, despite the treacherous roads and inconvenience of shuttered offices, Williamson County fared better than northwest areas such as Dickson and Clarksville, said Franklines street director.
eCompared to them, it was very mild here,e York said.