The Tri-Cities area is in a bit of a mess tonight. After an unexpectedly hard snowstorm Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, accompanied by power outages and phone outages, people in the area feel like their lives were turned upside down for several hours. There are people still stranded and trying to make their way home. Power companies are busy trying to get power restored, and shelters are open for those affected.
A Verizon outage left many people without cell service which evidently overloaded the landline telephones in the area because some traditional calls were also having "circuit busy" recordings. People's inability to reach family and friends traveling in the snow added to the confusion and panic. It reminds us of the necessity of having an emergency plan because lines of communication can quickly be unavailable.
Highway 11W Southbound from Kingsport has been at somewhere between a crawl and a standstill for hours due to the road conditions and at least one wreck involving a big rig that jack knifed. There have not been any real details available as to when the various clogged highways will be moving normally again. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has a hotline for stranded motorists.
There is also a life scanner feed from Kingsport that you may want to listen to on the Internet. Kingsport Online Police Scanner will keep you updated on conditions in the area.
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