CHARLOTTE -Sunshine and warmer temperatures are a welcome help to dozens of N.C. Department of Transportation crews in Mecklenburg County working to plow nearly 1,000 route miles of interstates, primary and secondary roads. As of yesterday afternoon, more than 2,500 tons of salt and 50,000 gallons of brine solution have been applied to roads in the county since operations started Monday. The department today will continue plowing interstate shoulders, ramps and turn lanes, while sending other crews to accelerate clearing on secondary roads.
Other counties in Division Ten (Anson, Cabarrus, Stanly, Union) are reporting good conditions on interstates and primary roads. Plowing and clearing efforts will continue on major thoroughfares, but the main focus today will be plowing the counties' secondary roads.
Black ice remains a concern and may redevelop tonight when leftover water refreezes. The department has produced this video describing how black ice forms and why it can be hazardous for drivers.
NCDOT has had 3,100 employees working around the clock statewide with 1,468 plows and spreaders, 300 graders, and 549 contract trucks and graders. Since Monday, the department has spread 35,969 tons of salt and 13,616 tons of salt/sand mix.
Motorists venturing out today should follow these driving tips:
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; 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 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 atwww.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.