'Dangerous driving conditions' expected during snowstorm
Posted January 28, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — The state Department of Transportation deployed nearly 500 vehicles Monday and Tuesday to spread 1.7 million gallons of salt brine on North Carolina's roads ahead of a storm that could dump as much as 10 inches of snow in some places.
Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata said his department transferred 54 vehicles from the western part of the state to the eastern half in anticipation of the winter weather.
Salt brine is a water and salt solution that is 23 percent salt and helps keep ice from bonding to the pavement. By putting down the brine Monday, the salt had more time to adhere to the roads, providing better protection from snow and ice, according to the DOT.
Travelers are asked not to call 911 or the state Highway Patrol for road conditions so the lines can remain clear for emergency calls.
Gov. Pat McCrory is asking drivers to stay off the roads, if possible. He declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm and lifted restrictions on heavy trucks so they can deliver needed supplies. Some National Guard units had already been activated and are ready to go, officials said.
"We are prepared for likely power outages and dangerous driving conditions throughout our state," McCrory said.
WRAL reporter Adam Owens reported seeing ice on bridges in Wilmington Tuesday evening.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport spokesman Andrew Sawyer says about 70 percent of flights in and out of the airport have been canceled for Tuesday due to the storm. He said he expects the cancellations to increase overnight and into Wednesday morning.
"Anyone meeting someone here tonight or planning to fly out early in the morning should definitely check with the airlines," Sawyer said.
U.S. Airways, Delta and United airlines have canceled flights at Fayetteville Regional Airport Tuesday afternoon and evening. The cancellations include overnight and early departures, and the airlines don’t plan to begin service until late morning Wednesday.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for much of central and eastern North Carolina – including Wake, Johnston and Cumberland counties – until midday Wednesday as the storm organizes along the East Coast.
Driving safely in the snow:
The State Highway Patrol advised drivers to avoid being on the roads if possible.
If you must drive in ice and snow, take these precautions:
Make sure your battery and cellphone are fully charged
Fill your gas tank
Pack bottled water and a blanket in the trunk
While on the road, slow down when roads are slick. Other driving tips:
Increase your following distance. You should allow about four car lengths for every 10 mph
Drive slower than the posted speed limit
Don't use cruise control
Stay in cleared lanes, or follow in the tracks of other vehicles where possible
Don't try to change lanes
If your car starts to skid:
Let your foot off the gas
Don't slam on the brakes
Steer into the skid
Get to a safe place
If you get stuck, turn on your flashers so rescue and emergency crews can find and help you.