RALEIGH - Snow has begun to fall in the Triad and crews with the N.C. Department of Transportation are responding as needed to clear roads of snow and ice.
While the most significant snow accumulation is forecast to occur in eastern North Carolina, the National Weather Service has expanded winter weather advisories westward to include the Triad. Anywhere from a trace to three inches of snow are forecast for the Triad and surrounding areas.
Crews in NCDOT's Division Seven, which includes Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Orange and Rockingham counties, are treating interstates and major primary routes with salt. Once snow begins to accumulate, trucks fitted with snowplows will begin pushing snow from major roadways.
In Division Nine, which includes Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Rowan and Stokes counties, crews have salt brined interstates and primary routes to prevent the initial snowfall from sticking to the pavement. Crews are now salting in areas where snow has begun to accumulate, particularly in the northern counties, and will plow as necessary depending on accumulation.
Crews throughout the Triad will be on standby overnight to assess road conditions and treat problem areas. Engineers will monitor conditions throughout the winter weather event and modify treatment plans as needed.
Motorists should be aware of the potential for snow and ice on roadways and especially on bridges and overpasses, which freeze first. NCDOT encourages motorists to use extreme caution and remember these safety tips:
Bridges and overpasses freeze first;
Put down the cell phone and focus on the road;
Use only gentle pressure on both the accelerator and the brakes to avoid skidding; and
Give other motorists plenty of room in case you or other drivers begin to slide.
In addition to clearing local roadways of snow and ice, both divisions are sending personnel and equipment to the eastern part of the state to support NCDOT's storm response efforts in the areas expected to be most significantly impacted by this winter weather event.
NCDOT has produced several videos explaining how maintenance crews gear up for winter weather months in advance, how they determine when to 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.
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.
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.
Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.