Raleigh-N.C. Department of Transportation
maintenance crews in the six counties that make up Division Four are currently out in full force plowing roads and spreading salt on roads east of the Triangle.Crews in Edgecombe, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, Wayne and Wilson counties finished spreading salt brine on interstates, N.C./U.S. routes and major secondary roads earlier today. As of late this afternoon, crews have spread between 400 and 500 tons of salt throughout the division and continue to spread salt as needed. Plowing efforts have begun along Interstate 95 and I-40 and will then transition to N.C. and U.S. routes, followed by major secondary roads.All roads and bridges in the area are open; however, crews closed a portion of the Booker Dairy Road Extension/M.Durwood Stephenson Highway in Johnston County between Buffalo Road and Wilson Mills Road in Smithfield earlier this afternoon to allow crews to remove snow from the bridge over the Neuse River with backhoes. NCDOT expects the bridge to reopen later this evening.A video about NCDOT's statewide preparations for this storm can be found here. NCDOT has produced several other videos showing how maintenance crews 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. Motorists are reminded that even a 1/4 inch of ice can bring down trees and power lines, blocking roadways. Drivers who encounter downed power lines should not try to drive over them because of the extreme danger. Instead, call 911 for assistance.DOT and utility crews have to clear debris from the road to allow access to the power lines, which could delay road clearing in some areas.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; and 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. Please do not call 911 to check on road conditions. That line must be kept open for emergencies. 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.