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Elizabethton church opens doors, crews race snowfall to clear roads

River's Edge Fellowship in Elizabethton opened its sanctuary to anyone needing shelter during the snow storm. (WCYB/Caleb Perhne)

People in Carter County woke up to four to six inches of snow Sunday morning.

Church services were cancelled at River's Edge Fellowship in Elizabethton, but they opened their sanctuary for anyone who needed to get in out of the snow. The church normally provides a bed and meals to 20 people, but during the storm, that extends to everyone.

"We're supposed to treat each other the way we want to be treated,” shelter pastor Darrin Smith said. “So if I was out and about and needed help... That's what we do."

Road crews worked long hours. They started plowing at 7 a.m.

On Hampton's Dennis Cove Road, the snow covered the road before crew could finish plowing.

"A lot of times people will call back in and say, 'They haven't gotten my road.' We've already been there once,” Melvin Johnson said.

Even with chains and four-wheel drive, road crews found driving difficult. Many had to call for help on two-way radio.

"Sometimes we incurred stopped traffic,” Road Superintendent Roger Colbaugh said. “We can't get around them. We have to back up and change routes."

Major streets were clear by Sunday afternoon, but since the snow continued to fall, Colbaugh said all roads aren't expected to be safe until Monday afternoon.

River’s Edge Fellowship will watch the weather and keep their sanctuary open as long as necessary.

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