RALEIGH - N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance crews have been working all night and throughout the day today clearing roads in the six counties making up NCDOT's Division Four, which includes Edgecombe, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, Wayne and Wilson counties.
The division has a total of 206 pieces of equipment being used throughout cleanup to plow roads and spread salt and sand. Additional personnel and 10 trucks also arrived in the division last night from NCDOT county maintenance offices in northwestern North Carolina to assist efforts.
Crews are currently focusing on interstates in the division, including I-95 and I-40, as well as primary U.S. and N.C. routes. Crews are expected to begin clearing secondary roads tomorrow; however, some counties may be able to begin clearing heavily-traveled secondary roads later today.
To learn more about the order of roads that are cleared and other winter weather response protocols, watch this video.
All roads and bridges in the area are open; however, many are still covered with snow and ice. NCDOT reminds motorists not to drive unless absolutely necessary. If you must drive, NCDOT offers the following safety tips for driving in winter weather:
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.
NCDOT 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.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/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.
You can also get emergency information from the N.C. Department of Public Safety at http://readync.org, and download the ReadyNC app to help you prepare for everything from road conditions to severe storms on a daily basis. It is available for free in the AppStore for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.