SHELBY -With arctic temperatures moving into the mountains and foothills, the N.C. Department of Transportation is taking extra precaution to keep crews safe as they work overnight clearing snow and ice throughout the region.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a wind chill of 30 degrees below zero tonight in some mountain counties. To keep NCDOT vehicles functioning properly in the bitter cold, the vehicles' engines will be kept idling at all times. This helps the vehicles' cabs to stay warm and will keep the vehicles running, despite the freezing temperatures.
The NCDOT also limits the hours crews are exposed to the cold. Workers usually return to the office every 3 to 4 hours to restock materials, including salt, sand and brine. Hot drinks, such as coffee and hot chocolate, are available for crews as needed.
NCDOT crews in some mountain counties will have two people in each truck. The crews will have designated call-in times to ensure everyone is safe and all operations are running smoothly.
Motorists are asked to use caution when traveling and to look out for NCDOT crews working on the roads.
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. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.