-N.C. Department of Transportation
crews in and around the Triad spent the morning making final preparations for the winter storm now making its way across the state. Forecasts are calling for at least 6-8 inches of snow in the Triad, with higher accumulations possible towards the north and west, and up to 1/4 inch of ice.Crews throughout the region finished salt brining interstates and primary routes yesterday. They are now shifting from anti-icing operations to snow and ice removal, and equipment and supplies are ready for crews to begin clearing roads. Because the forecast includes ice, crews are expected to rely on salt to clear the roads, in additional to plowing if needed. Division 7, which includes, Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Orange and Rockingham counties, has 17,600 tons of salt on hand. Crews in Division 9, comprised of Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Rowan and Stokes counties, have more than 8,600 tons of salt ready to spread as needed.Unlike the previous storm when the temperature dipped into the teens, which is too cold for salt to melt snow and ice, the temperature over the next few days is expected to remain in the 20's and low 30's. That will allow any salt put down to continue to help melt any frozen precipitation.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.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 offers the following safety tips for driving in winter weather:
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.
- Clear windows and mirrors before driving;
- Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles in case either vehicle goes into a skid;
- Plan for significant additional travel time to reach your destination.
- Approach bridges and overpasses them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge or ramp 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 also trying to stop; and
- If you have a cell 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 is for emergencies only.