Weather

'Dangerous driving conditions' expected during snowstorm

Posted January 28

— 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.

Snow Your snow photos: Jan. 28, 2014

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.

Closings and Delays Closings & Delays

"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.

Triangle traffic Streaming traffic camera video

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:

American Airlines Flight Tracker: Any flight, any airport

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.

8 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • sunshine1040 Jan 28, 7:49 p.m.

    Why were they closing schools and offices in cumberland county Tuesday morning. 5PM that is when rain started. still looking for all the snow that was predicted at 7:45 PM

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 28, 6:45 p.m.

    "Dangerous driving conditions"

    and this differs from any other day around here?

  • RightinRaleigh Jan 28, 5:08 p.m.

    If you're going to drive all slow like, please put your hazards on so I can see you before I... View More

    — Posted by Super Hans

    Peep Show shoutout! Love it! :D

    I also agree with your post...

  • Super Hans Jan 28, 4:44 p.m.

    If you're going to drive all slow like, please put your hazards on so I can see you before I blow around you. It's the sudden braking that always gets you.

  • ncouterbanks69 Jan 28, 4:41 p.m.

    "I enjoy driving in these conditions. I don't have any problems at all. It's the other 99.9% who struggle with simple driving in the snow ability that ruin it for the rest of us. "

    Agreed. Since the storm of 2000 I vowed to never not have a 4 wheel drive car again. It was great for about two days then cabin fever stepped in. The most dangerous ones out there are the ones that are so scared they are diving 20mph and freak out over every bump. If you are that scared stay home. Let someone who knows what they are doing take you where you need to go.

  • Whistling Dixie Jan 28, 4:10 p.m.

    I enjoy driving in these conditions. I don't have any problems at all. It's the other 99.9% who struggle with simple driving in the snow ability that ruin it for the rest of us.
    Happy motoring!

  • Billy the Kid Jan 28, 3:43 p.m.

    Yup, those conditions usually come with snow. Thanks for the reminder!

  • mafiamic Jan 28, 3:39 p.m.

    Like this is going to do any good,But be careful everyone,yes even you who thinks they can drive in all conditions because they have a 4X,you can't.
    Be aware of you suroundings and if you don't have to go anywhere raid the stores of the bread and milk and stay indoors.
    Or go out and have a nice snow ball fight sledding day.