Triangle, major roads mostly clear Wednesday morning
Posted January 22
Raleigh, N.C. — Although much of the Triangle was left with only a dusting of snow after Tuesday's quick-moving winter storm passed through the region, spots closer to the Interstate 95 corridor received up to 2.5 inches, and drivers there saw slick roads during the Wednesday morning commute.
"The greatest likelihood of road problems will be north and east of the Triangle," said WRAL traffic reporter Brian Shrader. No issues were reported in Wake or Durham counties through about 8 a.m.
"We're not seeing any big problems, and parts of Wake County and the western Triangle should be in good shape," he said. "Despite that, take it easy and just slow down during the morning commute. If it looks wet, assume it's frozen."
Spots in Franklin, Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson counties saw the most snow during the late-evening hours, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. Those are the areas where the most moisture was available to freeze on roads.
Temperatures will continue to fall until mid-morning, settling in the teens across much of the area. Temperatures were in the low 20s at 5:30, and wind chills made it feel like the upper teens.
Daytime highs Wednesday will only climb into the upper 20s, so wet roadways have the potential to remain slick throughout the day.
Most Triangle area school systems, including Wake, Durham and Cumberland counties, planned ahead and posted two-hour delays for Wednesday morning. Schools Public schools in Edgecombe, Halifax, Vance, Franklin, Granville, Orange, Northampton and Person counties will be closed Wednesday. Nash-Rocky Mount schools will also be closed. The complete list of area closings and delays numbered in the hundreds.
Winter driving tips
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.
Throughout the day Tuesday, North Carolina Department of Transportation crews spread salt brine – a mix of salt and water used to inhibit ice from adhering to road surfaces. Crews were on standby to spread more salt and sand to help with traction on major roads.
Northeast bears brunt of snowstorm
The storm system hit hardest along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor between Philadelphia and Boston. Snow began falling midmorning Tuesday in Philadelphia and had dumped as much as 13.5 inches by midnight, with New York seeing almost as much. Manalapan, N.J., had the highest snowfall reading with 16 inches.
The storm, which dropped nearly a foot of snow in parts of Massachusetts, created headaches for motorists in Boston on Wednesday morning.
Boston and Philadelphia ordered schools closed Wednesday, following the lead the day before of many districts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.
In some of the nation's busiest airports, including in Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, airlines advised passengers to expect extremely limited domestic service at least through Wednesday morning.
At New York's LaGuardia Airport, congested even on a good day, a television monitor displayed a litany of canceled flights. Crowds of people who had been hoping to fly out instead gathered around ticket counters trying to make alternate arrangements.