SHELBY - TheN.C. Department of Transportationis ready for the first major winter storm of the season.
The National Weather Service is forecasting unusually cold temperatures, gusty wind and snow in North Carolina's mountains this weekend, particularly in the counties along the Tennessee border.
The system is expected to move in Friday evening and continue through Saturday afternoon. NCDOT works closely with the National Weather Service to monitor changesin theweather forecast and adjust our storm response accordingly.
Since the snowis expected to begin as rain, however, there will not be widespread brining operations across NCDOT's mountain divisions. Rain dilutes the salt and water solution and washes the brine off the pavement, making it ineffective.
But that doesn't mean NCDOT crews are doing nothing to prepare for the possibility of winter weather this weekend.
In recent weeks, equipment necessaryfor snow and ice removal has been tested and calibrated to ensure that it is ready when needed. In the hours before the storm, crews will begin attaching plows and spreaders to trucks.
NCDOT's divisions are also prepared with more than enough salt and sand to clear roads of anyaccumulation. Crews are prepared to work in shifts around theclock until state roads are clear of snow and ice.
The National Weather Service warns that heavy, wet snow and gusty winds could bring down trees or power lines. NCDOT works with power companies to clear any downed lines or trees as soon as possible.
NCDOT has additional winter weather safety tipshere.
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.