Car crashes, delayed flights, cancellations, and general service delays are all thanks to a winter storm that began Wednesday and blanketed the Memphis area Wednesday night with a sheet of sleet covered with a sheet of snow.
The Memphis Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputies answered 53 weather-related vehicle crash calls from 7 p.m. Wednesday through 3:30 Thursday morning, according to the Shelby County Office of Preparedness.
The I-40/I-240 westbound flyover is closed as it’s covered in snow and ice.
The Memphis Division of Public Works put 14 trucks on the road Thursday applying salt and sand to major roads.
Memphis City Hall opened at 10 a.m. City libraries and community centers will open at noon and close at 4:30 p.m.
The city’s warming centers are open. The Orange Mound Community Center, located at 2572 Park Avenue, will remain open around the clock until temperatures break Saturday, March 7.
The Union Mission, located at 383 Poplar Ave., and The Salvation Army, located at 696 Jackson Ave., are open for overnight accommodations.
The Memphis Area Transportation Authority [MATA] will provide free transportation to the warming centers. For more information, contact the City of Memphis Office of Emergency Management at (901) 636-2525.
MATA has reported service delays because of the icy roads. MATA officials suggest bus passengers leave at least one hour early for important appointments.
City waste collection crews and contractor crews will try to complete collection services for Thursday and Friday customers on Saturday weather permitting. Customers who do not receive services on their normal collection day are asked to place their garbage and recycling containers at the curb, and leave them there until collections are made. There will be no collections of yard waste or trash placed outside the carts for residents impacted by service delays.
Crews have been battling the snow and ice at Memphis International Airport. Here’s what airport Glen Thomas reported early Thursday morning:
“Our crews have been working hard to keep runways open overnight. However, our air traffic has been limited as many airlines are choosing to wait the storm out, or are unable to depart from other cities due to weather there.
“There are still flights scheduled, but passengers should check directly with their airline to get the latest information. Many did not send aircraft last evening, which would have been the first morning flights out today. This is often done to avoid having a plane sit and accumulate ice overnight. De-icing in these conditions can be very difficult.
“While our job is to keep the runways clear, that's only one piece of the puzzle. You also have to take into consideration the conditions in the air and also the weather conditions in the other city. Our crews continue to work diligently to keep operations up and running.”