Raleigh -NCDOT crews in Division 5,
which includes Wake, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance and Warren counties,
spent the day working on final preparations for the winter storm heading for
the Triangle and counties to the north.
Forecasts on Tuesday afternoon indicate while the
Raleigh-Durham area in the southern part of the Division may get 1 to 2 inches
of snow, followed by a 1/4 inch of ice, northern counties could face at least
six inches of snow, topped off by ice.
Crews in the Division did some touch up brining of some
interstate and primary road bridges and ramps today to add to the prep work
that was done on Monday. There were also crew reassignments to make sure enough
personnel were in place to handle the major roads once the bad weather hits.
Because the forecast includes ice, crews are expected to
rely on both salt and a salt-sand mixture to clear the roads, in additional to
plowing if needed. Division 5 has more than 4,000 tons of salt on hand, added
another 800 tons today, and was planning to get another 800 tons shipped in
Wednesday from the Port of Wilmington.
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 Deputy Chief Engineer Jon Nance explains how ice differs from snow.
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
NCDOT offers the following safety tips for driving in
windows and mirrors before driving;
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.
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
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 i