Shelby -N.C. Department of Transportationcrews are preparing roads in the western mountains region for the latest round of winter weather that could bring heavy snow and ice to the area.
Some brining operations started Sunday and continued Monday morning in Division 14, which includesCherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Polk, Swain and Transylvania counties.
Rain began to fall late this morning in some parts of Division 14, so crews have suspended brining operations in those areas until the rain passes. Any rain will dilute the solution and wash it off the roads.Other parts of the division are beginning to receive snow, so brining operations have also been suspended in those counties, allowing crews to address snow removal.Depending on conditions and updated forecasts, crews could resume brine operations on the division's bare pavement routes at a later time.
In addition to today's winter weather response, NCDOT crews will also prepare equipment and supplies for any snow and ice removal needed for the remainder of this week.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch throughout North Carolina's western mountains, with heavy snow, ice and sleet expected. The watch begins Tuesday morning and is expected to continue through Thursday.
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;
- Be on the lookout for fallen tree limbs and power lines from snow/ice accumulation. NCDOT crews work with local power companies to remove the fallen limbs and downed lines as quickly as possible;
- 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, visitwww.ncdot.gov/travelor 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 athttp://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.