Roads Improving, But Army National Guard Ready To Help Stranded Motorists In Northwest TN

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(Dyer County, TN) Above freezing temperatures during the day helped melt some of the ice left over from the latest winter blast in northwest Tennessee.

In Dyer County, the back roads were icy, while the heavier-traveled highways and Interstate 155 were almost clear.

Drivers trying to avoid the mess on Arkansas' icy roads caused major traffic snarls in Dyersburg, and the Army National Guard is on alert to help any stranded motorists.

Since Tuesday afternoon, the armory for the 168th Military Police Battalion has been stocked with cots, blankets, food and water...even toys for children.

Major Russell Newbill with the 168th MP Battalion said the Guard is working closely with the Dyer County EMA and other local emergency agencies.

"We had eight teams prepared to move out in our Humvees to do health and welfare checks on any stranded motorists. Or anything the local sheriff's department needed us to respond to," said Major Newbill.

One big concern has been Interstate 155, which had been covered in ice and snow since Sunday night.

The four-lane runs along Dyersburg's north side and is a major route for people traveling to and from Arkansas and Missouri.

Fortunately, I-155 is clear and nothing like the nightmare on I-55 and I-40 in Arkansas.

So Tennessee Guardsmen haven't made any rescues in Dyer far.

"Which was a good sign. But we stayed here and made the armory available. It was opened," said Major Newbill.

Drivers trying to avoid icy interstate parking lots in Arkansas are causing something people in Dyersburg aren't used to seeing - a gridlock.

Eighteen-wheelers and passenger vehicles with license plates from Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois were clogging the highway to go west on Interstate 155.

Susan and Tim Bears live in Caruthersville, Mo., and decided Wednesday to drive over to Dyersburg.

They took Interstate 155 and didn't have too many problems.

Both are teachers and have been off work due to the ice storm.

"Well my wife and I, we've been snowed in, well iced in, for several days. And we wanted to get over here and get out for a little bit," said Tim Bears.

Drivers are advised to be cautious, since overnight temperatures are expected to be low enough to cause melted ice to re-freeze.