Raleigh - N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance crews from northeastern North Carolina are preparing to travel west to assist crews with clearing snow from roads in the mountains.
Maintenance crews from Washington and Pasquotank counties will leave at 6 a.m. on Saturday from the NCDOT Martin County maintenance yard in Williamston to travel to the Asheville area.
A total of eight employees with seven pieces of equipment will be traveling to the mountains to assist with response. Once there, crews will assist NCDOT's local county maintenance crews with pushing snow and keeping roads clear.
NCDOT crews and offices across the state are divided into 14 regional groupings of counties, known as divisions. Each division has at least one sister division that they can send assistance to in the event of severe weather or an emergency situation. NCDOT staff will send crews to their partner divisions when requested, as long as it will not hinder response in their own area. Because NCDOT's Division One, which includes Washington and Pasquotank counties in northeastern North Carolina, did not receive the heavy amount of snow and ice that fell in NCDOT's Division 13, which includes the Asheville area, crews were approved to assist Division 13 crews with their road clearing efforts.
Maintenance crews in NCDOT's 14-county wide Division One pretreated primary routes and bridges earlier in the week in advance of the storm. Crews in the northwestern part of the division, including Northampton County, as well as some areas of Bertie and Hertford County, have been clearing roads covered in snow and ice today. There are no reports of closures in the region at this time and the rest of the division, from Gates and Chowan counties eastward, has not seen any significant problems. In addition, no issues have been reported on the Outer Banks. With high winds forecast for the weekend, equipment is staged on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands should any overwash occur on N.C. 12.
NCDOT reminds drivers that even though a road may look clear, there is still the possibility for black ice.
NCDOT offers the following driving tips:
Reduce 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.
Approach bridges and overpasses with extreme caution, and, unless necessary, do not apply your brakes while on a bridge or ramp.
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 your vehicle.
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.
If you have a cellphone, 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 emergencies only.
For real-time travel information at any time, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter.