80 NC counties and 1 VA county are under alert, including Wake, Cumberland, Durham, Johnston, and Orange counties. Details
Published: 2017-01-07 14:37:00
Updated: 2017-01-07 21:51:55
Posted January 7
Raleigh, N.C. — As snow, freezing rain and sleet fell across central North Carolina, surfaces quickly became slick. Road conditions in the Triangle will only worsen overnight, due to plummeting temperatures.
Officials: All wet roads pose a risk
Officials in police departments and other agencies from multiple counties in N.C. have cautioned the public of one thing all day: avoid driving at all costs. The warning will become even more important overnight, as temperatures plummet into the single digits, promising to freeze any precipitation that is leftover on the roads.
With a wintry mix of snow, slush and freezing rain on the roads, officials are cautioning motorists that it's difficult to know what kind of slippery conditions are under the snowy surface. It's really best to not drive at all, they say.
Driving conditions deteriorate north, west of Raleigh
Although the snow in Raleigh is expected to stop within hours, sooner for counties to the west, temperatures dropping into the teens Saturday evening and the single digits by Sunday morning will ensure the wintry mix sticks.
"Temperatures are going to be so cold that it will be hard to get rid of this snow," said Gardner. "Temperatures will dive down to 9 degrees at 8 a.m. on Sunday, and we could break a record Monday."
Though all roads with wet spots will become slippery as temperatures drop, conditions are poorest in the areas that saw the most accumulation.
That means counties northwest of Raleigh, including Orange and Durham counties, where 6 or more inches of snow were reported in multiple areas.
Even in Raleigh, which saw no more than 2 inches of snow, a second dusting of snow covered primary and secondary roads to the point where it is hard to see the lane dividers.
Although towns in Cumberland County and surrounding areas saw less snow than we did in the Triangle, some snow and rain did fall, which will likely freeze as temperatures fall.
All roads will be slick, posing danger to drivers and passengers, officials said.
DOT working to clear the roads
Although roads still have the potential to be slick, workers with the Department of Transportation have been working to clear many main thoroughfares. Plows start with the largest, most-traveled roads first, like the four-lane interstates, then move to the smaller yet significant roads that take drivers to those main roads. Secondary roads and neighborhood streets follow.
Due to less accumulation, highways in Raleigh and Cary were clearer than those running through Durham and Chapel Hill, but officials are still warning motorists to avoid driving. If you must drive, drive slowly and keep ample distance between your car and other cars, officials said.
Tips to stay safe
If you must drive in the snow storm, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol offers a list of tips for driving in winter weather.
If you become trapped in your car:
If you are involved in a wreck, here are some ways to prevent further injuries, reduce costs and speed up the repair process:
WRAL has received no word of road closures on major thoroughfares. Around the Triangle, the slick roads contributed to several fender benders and lane closures throughout the day.