Facing the Roads After Icemageddon

Roads and roofs are causing issues in the aftermath of the ice storm that brought Middle Tennessee to a frozen halt last week. Some cities made comments to the Williamson Source on how they will handle lingering issues as more cold weather conditions may be on the way.

Citizens and city governments awoke to the sounds of spring Sunday morning as the air warmed and the ice melted away after the week-long Icemageddon. Some frosty remains still clung to the earth on Tuesday afternoon, and leaky roofs and bumpy roads are issues that cities across Middle Tennessee are facing as the winter blows more snow our way.Pothole road

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is responsible for state-owned roads like interstates and highways, while local city and county governments are responsible for other roads in their area.

Speaking for Brentwood, Vice Mayor, Jill Burgin wrote in an email, “Our public works and parks departments are still assessing the damage after last week’s ice storm. [Sunday], we had several crews in trying to address some of the neighborhood concerns. Crews simply will not be able to get into every subdivision, but hopefully we can make some improvement.”

Brentwood’s City Manager Kirk Bednar also wrote in an email, “We will be working with TDOT to address pothole problems on the state highways through town (Concord, Wilson Pike, Franklin Road, Moores Lane) and our Public Works Department will address problems on the city streets.”

Citizens of Brentwood may report any potholes by online submittal form at http://brentwood-tn.org/index.aspx?recordid=62&page=262.

Spring Hill told the Williamson Source that there are many potholes currently on Columbia Pike/Main Street, as well as Buckner Rd., Campbell Station Pkwy, Port Royal Rd. and Duplex Rd. “We realize potholes present a serious safety issue and can severely damage vehicles. Our Public Works Department has a working list of potholes and has been busy patching them as quickly as possible.”

Citizens of Spring Hill may report any potholes they see to Public Works Director Jeff Foster through email: jfoster@springhilltn.org.

Franklin did not make a comment, but citizens may report potholes to Joe York.

Frost heave is the name given to the phenomenon that causes potholes and broken bridges after a big freeze like we experienced last week. Since water can seep through every crack and sit underneath roads and such, when it freezes it expands and causes fairly unavoidable damage to roads.

Another issue that many home and business owners are facing this week is roof damage after the ice melted. This is caused by a phenomenon called “ice damming” which happens when water gets trapped as ice melts from underneath due to the heat of the building. The water pools since it has no where else to go and will often seep through the roof causing leaks and damage.

IMG_0947Barring the bravery seen in the picture here, there is not much else that one can do to prevent ice dams, especially in the south where houses are not normally built to withstand such wintery weather. You can sprinkle de-icing salts (make sure they’re safe for plants and pets), and use blunt objects to break off the ice before melting water seeps through shingles. It is a highly dangerous job and highly recommended to hire a roofing expert to do the work. There is always a chance that chipping ice away will bring some bits of shingle with it.

With a dusting of snow on the way Wednesday afternoon we may be in for more cold weather conditions before a full thaw happens and spring finally raises its head.