RALEIGH – As forecasters
predict winter weather to hit parts of the state this evening, N.C. Department of Transportation crews are
prepared and ready to respond to the storm.
Because the storm is starting out as a rain event, NCDOT maintenance
crews will not pretreat the roads with a salt-water mixture called brine, which
is a cost-effective way to help prevent snow and ice from bonding to the
pavement. The rain would wash off the brine, wasting resources and offering no
benefit to drivers.
Crews across the state are proactively preparing for the
winter weather in the following ways:
Western Carolina Mountains
- Crews are currently
transitioning from cleaning up mudslides to removing snow. They have
calibrated the heavy equipment and are staging spreaders and plows this
Greater Charlotte Area
- In addition to NCDOT
maintenance staff, the department will use about 50 contract trucks in
Mecklenburg County. They will work through the night and into the morning
hours to remove any snow or ice.
- NCDOT crews have outfitted
their trucks with plows and spreaders, and stockpiled salt and sand to
ensure they are ready to respond as soon as the storm hits. In some
counties, crews were sent home to rest this afternoon and will report back
to work early this evening to begin removing any snow.
- During the day today, crews put plows
on the trucks, so they are ready to go when the snow begins falling. Crews
left the maintenance yards this afternoon to go home and rest, and will
return later tonight in advance of the winter weather.
- Crews spent the day preparing equipment and loading sand and salt
onto the trucks. They will be on standby overnight, ready to clear snow
and address icy spots.
- Crews located in counties with the potential to see snow or ice
have equipped their trucks with plows and spreaders, and will have
skeleton crews working overnight. All other coastal counties have crews on
alert to treat any bridges or overpasses as they become slick.
NCDOT is concerned
about the strong potential for black ice forming overnight, especially on
bridges and overpasses, which typically freeze first. The combination of rain,
snow and freezing temperatures in the early morning hours could create slick
spots. The department encourages drivers who cross bridges or overpasses during
their morning commutes to use extreme caution. To ensure safety, motorists are
advised to go slow, avoid distractions such as cell phones and avoid forcefully
using their brakes to reduce speed.
The department has
produced several videos, explaining how maintenance crews prepare for winter
weather months in advance, how they determine when to use salt and sand, and
how they decide which roads to clear first. These videos and many others are
available on the NCDOT YouTube page at www.youtube.com/ncdotcommunications.
Drivers can access
real-time information about changing road conditions across the state in a
number of ways:
- Call 511, the department’s toll-free travel information line;
- Visit NCDOT’s travel webpage at http://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/default.aspx
to see live traffic camera images and access road conditions by region,
route or county;
- Use NCDOT Mobile, the mobile version of the department’s website,
to know before you go about road conditions. Just type “m.ncdot.gov” into
your smartphone’s browser;
- “Like” NCDOT on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NCDOT1; and
- Follow one of NCDOT’s many Twitter feeds, which are listed at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter/.
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