CHARLOTTE - With a winter storm watch in effect until 7 a.m. Thursday, N.C. Department of Transportation crews in the Charlotte area have already taken steps to treat local roadways in advance of the approaching storm. Yesterday, 10 state trucks and 15 contract trucks spread more than 70,000 gallons of brine solution on I-77, I-85, I-485 and I-277, as well as I-85 in Cabarrus County. Crews also have focused on treating bridges, overpasses and primary routes.
Other counties in Division 10 (Cabarrus, Union, Stanly and Anson counties) today have had brine solution applied to primary roads. More crews in Mecklenburg County will be mobilized at 6 a.m. Tuesday, working through the day until new workers rotate in at 6 p.m.
This weather system is predicted to bring up to six inches of snow to Mecklenburg County, with lesser amounts east of Charlotte. Ice accumulations could range from one-tenth to one-quarter inch by Thursday.
NCDOT has produced several 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.
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 by dialing 911. But please don't 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 and bookmark it to save for future use.
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.