(Dyer County, TN) A lot of drivers who heard about the traffic problems in Arkansas figured West Tennessee was the way to go.
They’d just drive to Dyersburg, go west on 155, and over the Mississippi River and into Missouri.
That turned out to be a bad idea, because roads in West Tennessee are still treacherous after Sunday night’s ice storm.
The sun shined on Dyersburg Tuesday, but not enough to warm temperatures above freezing or melt away mountains of ice and snow piled up along Highway 51.
On the ice-covered ramp to go west bound on Interstate 155 to Missouri, traffic came to standstill when an 18-wheeler got stuck.
Some drivers thought they’d avoid the mess in Arkansas by going through West Tennessee and taking Interstate 155.
One of those drivers found no way to get up the ramp and was too frustrated to talk.
“I wish I could, but I got to get going.”
“Where you headed?” we asked.
“To Cape Girardeau, Missouri, ” the driver said.
We wished him good luck and he was on his way.
In Dyersburg, James Lee was filling his car up with gas Tuesday and said he’s not planning on risking a trip on Interstate 155 anytime soon, especially when the roads in Dyer County are still very icy.
“I haven’t been on 55, but all the side roads are still really bad, they’re totally iced over. Just very few clear spots,” said James Lee.
On some of Dyersburg’s more heavily traveled roads there’s at least one lane in each direction opened though very slushy.
While most drivers we saw Tuesday stayed in the safe lanes, one driver seemed to enjoy driving as fast as he could through several inches of ice and snow on Highway 78.
If anyone knows about winter driving, it’s Larry Gales from South Dakota.
He and his family are headed home from Fort Lauderdale, pulling a camper and exercising a lot of patience.
“You just take your time and go. Otherwise you pull over and park the camper and spend the day and go the next day when the roads get better,” said Gales.
Most people have been staying in and avoiding the bad roads, but George Cutler had to make the most of the sunny day while he could.
“Going to the drugstore right now and getting some medicine for my neighbor,” said Cutler.
Regardless of how bad the weather is, that seems like the neighborly thing to do.
“Well, she’s in her eighties and she don’t need to be out,” said George Cutler.
Tennessee Army National Guard soldiers from Dyersburg and Ripley will be standing by to help motorists stranded in West Tennessee, specifically the Dyer County area.
Teams will have water, food, and blankets, and will do health checks.