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Updated 12/27: Temperatures climb and snow melts as bitter cold finally moves out of Southern Appalachians
Southern cities emerge from frigid airmass after Christmas weekend of brutal cold and snow
KNOXVILLE — Temperatures rose above freezing on Tuesday for the first time since Dec. 23 following a weekend bout with historic cold, high winds, burst water and sewage lines and power outages. The chaos was punctuated with unexpectedly potent snowfall Dec. 26 on frigid roadways that snarled traffic in the city and metro area.
The snow came in the wake of a brutal cold front that first moved into the region in the early hours Friday morning.
Snow didn’t start falling until Monday afternoon, and by sunrise Tuesday between .5 and 2 inches of the white stuff had blanketed the area, falling upon already frigid roadways.
Public safety officials across the region urged motorists to stay home, and numerous government offices either closed or got off to a late start Tuesday due to icy roads.
Both the Knoxville Police Department and Knox County Sheriff’s Office activated their Severe Weather plans, which meant that officers would only respond to emergencies and wrecks with injuries.