Raleigh - While the
threat of a major snow and ice storm may have passed, State Emergency
Response Team officials say they are remaining vigilant and responsive.
"The situation is improving,
but that does not mean that conditions have returned to normal," said
Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. "People still need to be
cautious whether they are out driving or walking.
The black ice is a very real threat and should be taken seriously."
Perry said state and local
emergency management officials are still coordinating response to the
storm and State Highway Patrol troopers will continue to have increased
patrols at least through Saturday to ensure no
motorists are left stranded in the dangerously low temperatures.
While ice accumulations were
not as severe as predicted, most of the state remains under a Winter
Weather Advisory due to dangerous black ice. Temperatures are expected
to rise above freezing this afternoon allowing
some of the ice to melt. But a brief chance of scattered snow showers
combined with below freezing temperatures statewide for the next few
days will leave many secondary roads, streets, driveways and yards in
ice skating rink-like condition.
Law Enforcement Commissioner
Gregory K. Baker also thanked state agencies for a tremendous job
coordinating together to respond to the winter storm and for their extra
efforts to ensure that no motorists were left
stranded overnight in freezing temperatures.
"North Carolinians largely
heeded our warnings to stay off the roads," said Highway Patrol
Commander Bill Grey. "Following that advice has greatly reduced the
number of wrecks and injuries from what we've seen in
Overnight, Highway Patrol
troopers responded to nearly 100 calls for service statewide, well below
average. Troopers typically respond to approximately 1,000 calls daily.
National Guard soldiers,
Wildlife officers, Alcohol Law Enforcement agents and DOT roadside
assistance patrols also have assisted motorists.
By 11 a.m., the utilities reported about 12,200 power outages statewide, mostly in the Southeastern and Sandhills areas.
Governor McCrory lifted the
State of Emergency late Tuesday. The truck weight and hours of service
restriction waivers that also were signed earlier this week are still in
effect as companies continue to move fuel,
propane and other goods to recover from the winter storm. The waiver is
in effect for 30 days or until it is canceled.
NCDOT has scraped or treated
with salt and sand nearly all the interstates and four-lane divided
highways. Crews will finish the primary routes today then shift their
focus to secondary roads. Even with treatment,
icy spots will remain especially on bridges and overpasses.
The department currently has 2,474 NCDOT employees responding to the
effects of the winter storm statewide. They are using 1,316 trucks
loaded with plows and spreaders and 213 motor graders to clear the roads
of snow and ice. Since Monday, crews have put down
38,555 tons of salt and 9,061 tons of salt-sand mix on the roads.
Real-time weather and road conditions, as well as winter safety tips, can be found on the free ReadyNC mobile app or on line at www.readync.org web site.
Travelers are urged to call 511, follow NCDOT’s Twitter accounts or go to its website for up to date roadway conditions. Motorists are reminded NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol Communication Centers for roadway conditions; those lines must remain clear for emergency calls.