Heavy congestion as a result of accidents and winter weather has traffic currently stopped on Interstate 40 in Haywood County in both directions from mile marker 15 to the Tennessee State Line.N.C. Department of Transportation crews are working with law enforcement to clear accidents and areas of precipitation from the road by mid-afternoon. NCDOT maintenance crews salted roads in higher elevations in preparation for winter weather in this area; however, did not pretreat roads with salt brine because the system was forecast to begin as rain, which would wash away and dilute the brine. Relatively warm weather in the days leading up to the storm has kept pavement temperatures warm, which helps to prevent precipitation from freezing to the roadway.Motorists are advised to not drive through this area unless absolutely necessary, and to find alternate routes. Roads in the northern mountains of North Carolina are mostly wet this morning. In the Asheville area primary roads are clear, with some slushy spots on secondary roads. With temperatures forecast to drop or stay below freezing in some areas, motorists are advised to be on alert for possible black ice tomorrow morning. NCDOT has developed this video regarding black ice and offers the following safety tips for driving in winter weather:
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit the NCDOT traffic website or follow NCDOT on Twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type "m.ncdot.gov" into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.
- Clear windows and mirrors;
- Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles;
- Approach bridges and overpasses with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge unless necessary;
- If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car;
- Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection in case any vehicles coming from other directions lose control of their vehicles while trying to stop;
- If you have a cellular phone, take it with you. You can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling *HP (*47) or call law enforcement in the event of an emergency by dialing 911; and
- Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.