While Giles County got its first taste of winter weather this season Thursday night, warm surface temperatures and the vigilant work of county employees helped avoid a dangerous night for motorists.
Winter precipitation began falling in the county around 5 p.m. with a mixture of rain, sleet and snow just as darkness set in. Giles County Superintendent of Roads Barry Hyatt said he and his department were monitoring the situation, with the north end of the county experiencing the most precipitation.
“The ground temperature and the road temperature helped more than anything,” Hyatt said. “You’ll see it on the ground, and you’ll see it in the trees, but the temperature that this asphalt holds and the ground and stuff makes a lot of difference in getting rid of it a lot faster.”
Hyatt encouraged motorists to always exercise extra caution in the case of winter weather conditions, giving themselves more time to brake and also adding increased space between themselves and other vehicles on the roadway.
On a state right of way in the north end of the county, a tractor trailer reportedly turned sideways on the road, leading to several vehicles becoming temporarily stuck on the slick roads. Giles County Sheriff Kyle Helton said his department was hard at work helping motorists early in the evening.
“We were fortunate enough to have a bunch of people out there last night to assist in any way we can,” Helton said. “That’s what it’s all about. That’s what our guys do all the time. They’re going to go out and do what a lot of people don’t want to do. I’m proud of them. I’m proud that they get out there and work like they do.”
Giles County Fire and Rescue Chief Josh Fralix said that while several GCFR volunteers were out helping motorists in need, the squad was not paged out to any wrecks over the course of the night.