RALEIGH - N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance crews throughout the southern part of the state are preparing roads for the winter weather anticipated to arrive in the area later today.
Crews in Harnett and Cumberland counties are currently spreading salt brine on all interstate, N.C. and U.S. routes. Salt brine is a mix of salt and water used to prevent ice from forming and adhering to road surfaces.
Maintenance crews in NCDOT's Division Six, which also includes Bladen, Columbus and Robeson counties are fitting equipment with salt spreaders and plows. Crews in all five counties will be on standby to work this evening and through the night to keep the roads clear.
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.
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 them 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.Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.
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.
Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.