RALEIGH – Please prepare now so you will be ready because the year’s fourth winter storm could impact travel across much of North Carolina this weekend, the state transportation officials said Friday.
“We pre-treated roads and are ready to respond to this next round of winter weather,” said State Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette. “Please take this storm seriously and get any supplies you may need because snow and bitter cold temperatures will make travel dangerous this weekend.”
More than 1,100 NCDOT employees and contractors started earlier this week pre-treating roads with brine. NCDOT employees and contractors from the mountains to the coast started brining roads as early as Wednesday. Many crews were out again Friday morning finishing up their work to pre-treat roads, bridges and other trouble spots. As of Friday morning, NCDOT had used nearly 500 trucks to apply 1.5 million gallons of brine.
Transportation crews are switching out brining equipment with salting and plowing equipment and then heading home to rest before returning to start work overnight de-icing and plowing operations.
“Staying off the roads will make it easier for our crews and emergency responders to do their jobs,” said N.C. Department of Transportation’s Chief Operating Officer Beau Memory. “The best thing you can do is stay home once the winter weather starts.”
Like all industries, NCDOT has been impacted by COVID-19 and staffing shortages. Transportation officials ask that people be patient. Crews may not be able to respond as quickly as we have in the past but will work through the weekend to get roads cleared as quickly as possible. NCDOT is also aware of the supply chain issues many industries, including transportation, are facing and have been aggressive in reordering supplies.
Forecasts show that light rain followed by snow will move across our state from the west to the east starting Friday evening before exiting the coast Saturday morning. Winter weather advisories have been issued for much of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, where 1-2 inches of snow is expected. Winter storm warnings are in effect for higher elevations of the mountains with 2-5 inches expected, and 6-8 inches in elevations above 5,000 feet.