RALEIGH – Please stay off the roads and be patient as it will take time for state transportation forces and Mother Nature to clear roads of the snow and ice dumped on much of North Carolina Friday evening.
“People should not attempt to drive in these conditions,” said State Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette. “Our crews are working around the clock to treat and clear roads as quickly as possible and we need everyone else to do their part and stay off the roads.”
Some interstates, primary roads, and many secondary roads are covered in snow and ice and unsafe for travel from the coast all the way through the Triangle and stretching into the Triad and Charlotte areas. NCDOT employees are working on clearing interstates first and four-lane primary roads, then plan to start clearing secondary roads through the weekend and into Monday. This NCDOT page describes the agency’s road-clearing policy.
Nearly 2,000 NCDOT forces and contractors have been working through the night and are back at it Saturday treating roads blanketed by snow and ice in the eastern two thirds of North Carolina. Crews had more than 1,100 trucks and graders applying salt and sand and plowing roads. By 10 a.m. Saturday, crews working to de-ice roads had applied about 1 million gallons of brine, 21,000 tons of salt and 1,400 tons of a salt and sand mixture.
Like all industries, NCDOT has been impacted by COVID-19 and staffing shortages. Transportation officials are asking that people be patient, as crews may not be able to respond in certain areas as quickly as possible.
“Everyone who was in the path of this storm should stay home,” said N.C. Department of Transportation Chief Operating Officer Beau Memory. “Temperatures are not going to get much above freezing Saturday, and any thawing that occurs will refreeze overnight.”
Frigid temperatures will leave many roads and bridges icy today and impact travel tomorrow as any water left on roads will refreeze overnight and form as black ice.
All modes of transportation in North Carolina have been impacted by the storm. On Saturday, several of the state’s coastal ferry routes were temporarily suspended due to high winds and icy road conditions leading to ferry terminals. Those routes will resume only when it’s safe to do so. Stay tuned to updates on ferries on our social media channels.
For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.