- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The latest on winter weather conditions in Tennessee (all times local).

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6 p.m.

More than 6 inches of snow fell at the Nashville International Airport Friday as flights were delayed and tourism officials worked to inform visitors about available lodging.

Although the storm system was moving to East Tennessee by late afternoon, meteorologist Matt Reagan said the snow in Middle Tennessee was likely to stick around as temperatures were not expected to rise much above freezing on Saturday.

Memphis missed the brunt of the storm, seeing only a couple of inches of snow, but 11 inches of snow fell at Cross Plains, near the Tennessee-Kentucky border.

About 4 inches of snow was expected at the Knoxville airport overnight Friday with as much as 10 inches in the far northeast corner of the state. Up to 15 inches are possible at the highest peaks.

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5:30 p.m.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol worked hundreds of wrecks on the interstates Friday as snow covered much of the state.

Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Bill Miller said traffic was finally flowing around Nashville by late afternoon after having been gridlocked much of the day. But he said conditions were still treacherous in Middle Tennessee, and the storm was heading to the eastern part of the state where falling temperatures and higher elevations were expected to make driving very hazardous.

Despite the number of collisions, Miller said there had been no fatal accidents reported.

In the city of Nashville, police spokeswoman Kris Mumford said they had reports of 229 non-injury collisions between 5 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. There were also 17 injury collisions but no fatalities reported.

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Noon

In Nashville, about 4 ½ inches of snow has fallen with another 1 to 2 inches expected. Further north around White House as much as 7 inches have fallen.

National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Krissy Hurley says light flurries are expected in Middle Tennessee throughout Friday evening.

In East Tennessee, the weather service is predicting up to 6 inches of snow in the central valley with as much as 10 inches in the far northeast corner of the state. Up to 15 inches are possible at the highest peaks.

Memphis has only about 2 inches of snow, but meteorologist John Sirmon says the area around Jackson and Paris has up to 8 inches. Sirmon says temperatures in West Tennessee are not expected to rise above freezing until Sunday.

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11:30 a.m.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Miller says interstates are “pure gridlock” around downtown Nashville and “just totally shut down.”

He says snow plows and salt trucks are out, but they can’t keep up with the weather.

Miller says there are multiple crashes across the state but the highway patrol so far is not working any fatal wrecks.

He says the storm is moving east toward Knoxville with temperatures dropping and snow continuing to fall. North of Knoxville, along Interstate 75, roads already are treacherous.

“This is pretty much a rough winter storm for us.”

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11:00 a.m.

Josh Booker is a cook at a Nashville Waffle House restaurant. He says the restaurant is putting employees up at a nearby hotel in order to keep the Waffle House open 24 hours a day.

Booker says the restaurant should have put them up overnight on Thursday because he barely made it in to work on Friday morning with his fiancee, who also works at the Waffle House, and two children in the car.

He says they took it slow on the snow-covered roads but got stuck at the intersection just in front of the restaurant. About eight people came out and pushed the car over into the parking lot.

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10:30 a.m.

In Nashville traffic was backed up on interstates with Tennessee Emergency Management Spokesman Dean Flener saying he was one of those stuck on the road.

Flener said there was a jack-knifed tractor trailer blocking traffic through the downtown area. He said he had been stuck on Interstate-40 for two hours.

Flener said the snow came earlier than was expected and caught a lot of people off guard.

He said the roads are expected to remain treacherous through the weekend and encouraged people not to go out unless absolutely necessary.

Flener said there have been isolated reports of power outages around Nashville, but no major outages.

Flener said there are warming stations operating around the state, and the Red Cross has shelters on standby near the interstates.

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9:35 a.m.

Authorities say an East Tennessee woman has been killed in a road crash caused by winter weather.

Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said 38-year-old Stacy Sherrill, of Butler, died when the vehicle she was driving slid off an icy road and plummeted down a 300-foot embankment at about 10 p.m. on Wednesday night.

Lunceford said Sherrill’s husband was a passenger in the vehicle. Lunceford said it took the man several hours to climb up the embankment, and he was able to report the accident at about 8 a.m. Thursday.

The sheriff said Friday that snow and ice on the road helped cause the accident. Lunceford said alcohol also was a factor in the crash.

Snow was predicted to fall again in the region on Friday.

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9:30 a.m.

John Sirmon, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Memphis, said Friday morning that the winter storm had dropped about 1 to 2 inches of snow in Memphis, but reports of 3 to 5 inches of snow were coming in from the Dyersburg area.

Forecasters had predicted heavier amounts of snowfall - from 3 to 6 inches - in Memphis and other parts of West Tennessee.

Sirmon said total accumulation has so far been “quite a bit lower than we expected.”

A winter storm warning was in effect for much of Tennessee and state offices were closed.

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7:10 a.m.

Gov. Bill Haslam’s office says all state offices across Tennessee will be closed on Friday.

A previous statement said offices in Middle and East Tennessee would be open for a half-day, but Haslam spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals said conditions deteriorated earlier than was forecast.

Snow was falling across many areas in Tennessee before sunrise. The Tennessee Department of Transportation warned motorists to drive with caution due to slick conditions.

Forecasters say snow and sleet accumulations could reach 4 to 6 inches in West Tennessee while 3 to 6 inches is predicted in Middle and East Tennessee.

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6:15 a.m.

A statement from the Shelby County Mayor’s Office says snow and freezing rain are creating hazardous driving conditions in the Memphis area.

Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr. says salt and sand trucks have been out since early morning treating main roadways, but icy conditions have been reported on some bridges and overpasses. Officials urged people to stay off the roads if possible.

Forecasters say snow and sleet accumulations could reach 4 to 6 inches in West Tennessee. In Memphis, where blizzard conditions are possible, three warming centers are open for those seeking refuge from below-freezing temperatures.

Forecasters in Nashville and Morristown say 3 to 6 inches of snow could fall in Middle and East Tennessee as the storm moves through the state.

Gov. Bill Haslam has ordered state offices in West Tennessee closed all day. Other state offices will close at noon.

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4 a.m.

Cities and towns are preparing for a winter storm expected to plow through Tennessee on Friday.

National Weather Service forecasters have issued a winter storm warning for much of the state. A state of emergency has been declared by state officials.

Road travel is expected to be difficult. Power outages also are possible.

Forecasters say snow and sleet accumulations could reach 4 to 6 inches in West Tennessee. In Memphis, where blizzard conditions are possible, salt trucks and plows are ready to clear roads of snow and ice. Three warming centers are open for those seeking refuge from below-freezing temperatures.

Forecasters in Nashville and Morristown say 3 to 6 inches of snow could fall in Middle and East Tennessee as the storm moves through the state.

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