UPDATE: Johnson City, Washington County schools out Wednesday

Tony Casey • Feb 25, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Both Johnson City and Washington County schools have canceled Wednesday classes because of severe winter weather.

Additionally, Unicoi County, Johnson County, Greene County, Elizabethton City and Carter County schools have all closed in the wake of winter weather.

Reported earlier:

Washington County and Unicoi County schools will be closed Wednesday, February 25, 2015.

Dr. Debra Bentley, Johnson City Schools’ supervisor of instruction and communication, said city school officials were determining how safe roads were for travel before deciding if schools would be closed on Wednesday.

Check www.johnsoncitypress.com for updates on closings, cancellations and delays.

Reported earlier:

Much like the snow that blanketed the region Tuesday morning, Meteorologist Rob Batot is calling for much of the same kind of snow in Johnson City Wednesday evening.

“We will likely receive 3 to 4 inches in the Tri-Cities and across much of NE TN,” Batot said in a Facebook post. “Look for 2 to 4 inches of snow across SW Virginia and up to a half foot (slightly more in some cases) across the TN and NC mountains. My confidence is high on this one as I do NOT think the path or intensity will change much at this point.”

Batot offered pluses and minuses as to what those in the region can expect in the coming days:


— Temperatures won't be as cold, so the roads won't be as bad (in most cases) as they were this morning. Still difficult for travel though, more on that below.

— Also, we warm above freezing Thursday afternoon and this will help with snow removal. No huge push of cold air behind this system.


— This will still be a wet snow and we will receive enough that it will still be difficult for travel, especially early Thursday morning.

— This snow will be more difficult to shovel.

— Outside chance for some power outages in the TN or NC mountains...much less of a chance in the lower elevations of TN and VA.

TDOT also provided an update as the weather across the region, saying that road conditions were improving.

“Routes continue to improve across the region. Most routes are clear and have wet black pavement at this time. Isolated patches of snow and ice exist. Crews continue to treat and plow,” TDOT’s Region 1 report said.

It also said that Carter County was seeing snow accumulation reach 5 inches in the lower elevations and 9 in the higher places. Washington County say as much as 5 inches of snow and Unicoi as much as 9 inches. Those roads were clearing, slush buildup across the region was becoming a concern.

Reported earlier:


Just when East Tennesseans thought last week’s dump of snow had melted, leaving a clear path to spring, Monday night’s forecast of a dusting to less than an inch of snow turned into several inches, wreaking havoc for motorists and causing closings for all local schools Tuesday morning.

Derek Eisentrout, a National Weather Service spokesman in Morristown said things began to change later on Monday evening as to what the area could expect.

“Models started to agree and trend to an intensification to a low-pressure system, and last evening, even more,” Eisentrout said about the expected amount of snow.

His morning reports said that Johnson City had gotten around 2.5 inches, the Tri-Cities Regional Airport getting 2.9, Greeneville getting as much as 3 inches and the higher elevations more than 4 inches of snow.

Different than last week’s snow in Johnson City, this batch should melt rather quickly with temperatures going above freezing by midday Tuesday, Eisentrout said.

East Tennessee State University had cancelled morning classes and would be making a determination as to if they would also cancel Tuesday evening classes by 2 p.m. Washington County and Johnson City Schools were cancelled for the day.

Washington County dispatch this morning reports the volume of weather-related emergency calls are about what was expected following the late-morning snowfall. There have been reports of vehicles in ditches, but there have been no major emergency calls so far.

Public Works Department Director Phil Pindzola is out surveying Johnson City roads this morning. He said salt was laid down on major roads before snow began. He also said, "we have everything we have out on the roads this morning, and we're working through our priorities." Pindzola asked that motorists be patient while crews make their way through city streets.

Mark Nagi, Community Relations Officer for the Tennessee Department of Transportation - Region 1, had been giving road condition updates on his Twitter page throughout the morning.

“Snow is covering roadways across East Tennessee. TDOT crews continue to treat roads. Please stay off the roads this morning,” one Tweet read.

He posted a photo of TDOT’s mass of computer screens that were monitoring road conditions across the area, saying that, “Our Transportation Management Center is keeping an eye on the East Tennessee roadways this morning...”

Nagi suggested anyone looking for up-to-the-minute updates on roads download TDOT’s SmartWay App at www.smartway/tn.gov.

List of closings, cancellations and delays

Washington County and Unicoi County schools will be closed Wednesday, February 25, 2015.

Milligan's offices and day/night classes are cancelled today, Feb 24, due to poor road conditions.

ETSU day and evening classes are cancelled for February 24. Administrative Offices are closed.

Eastman Credit Union sent out an email update to its members saying that all locations in Tennessee and Virginia would be closed today.

Johnson City city offices are open.

Washington County offices are open and on a regular schedule.

Washington County Justice Center is open and General Sessions Court is operating. If anyone with a court date cannot get there safely, they can call to have their case reset. Call 788-1411 or 788-1431.

Jonesborough town hall is open

Updated: All Frontier Health locations in Tennessee and Virginia are now closed.

Here’s a list of closings, cancellations and schedule changes for Mountain States Health Alliance:

First Assist Urgent Care locations are open.

MSMG primary care practices in Tennessee will open at noon.

MSMG primary care practices in Virginia were expected to be open by 10 a.m.

MSMG Cardiology offices in Norton, Va., and Mountain City and Erwin, Tenn., are closed.

MSMG Cardiology offices in Kingsport and Johnson City, Tenn., will open at noon.

MSMG Surgery Trauma in Johnson City, MSMG Neurology in Kingsport and Community Orthopedics in Norton are closed.

All other MSMG practices are operating today but some may close early due to appointment cancellations and slow patient volume.

Classes through Organizational Development, including American Heart Association classes and orientation, are canceled.

Press Staff Writer Gary Gray contributed to this story.

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