Published: 2009-03-01 17:39:00
Updated: 2009-03-09 17:13:13
Posted March 1, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009
Raleigh, N.C. — Raleigh had 50 trucks and 2,400 tons of salt ready to hit the roads Sunday night to keep driving conditions from getting too treacherous. Expect surfaces to get slick as sleet and snow accumulate and temperatures drop below freezing during Sunday night, Daniel Kirsch, assistant streets supervisor for Raleigh's public works department said.
Raleigh ready to clear snowy roads
Two days worth of rain have soaked road surfaces, preventing crews from the standard practice of pre-treatment, Kirsch said. Municipal and state crews usually lay down brine – a mixture of water and salt that prevents ice from bonding to pavement. They couldn't this weekend because the falling rain would simply wash it away.
Instead, Kirsch said, the city plans to salt and plow once snow begins to fall.
Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said road crews were standing by for the first sign of snow. They began 12-hour shift rotations Sunday at 6 p.m.
The goal of emergency snow removal, according to the city’s Web site, is to keep major roadways and public transit routes passable for vehicles equipped with all-weather tires, snow tires or chains, or other special equipment designed for icy road conditions.
Raleigh crews prioritize plowing to clear bridges first, followed by major roads and routes used by Capital Area Transit buses.
North Carolina Department of Transportation crews delayed pre-treating highways as well, department spokeswoman Dara Demi said. After snow starts falling, state crews will begin spreading salt on roadways, she said.
The department issued a statement Sunday night advising drivers to limit travel as much as possible.
No major delays or cancelations were recorded at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, but farther to the south, Greenville-Spartanburg airport closed at 9 p.m. Sunday to allow crews to remove snow from the runways.
Apex police blocked off East Williams Street, between Salem and Hughes streets, early Sunday afternoon. Police said the stretch of road underneath a train trestle floods easily.
The Town of Chapel Hill planned to begin applying salt and sand to primary routes, bridges, hills after snow began to fall. Town plows will operate as conditions permit
The North Carolina Highway Patrol offered these tips to help drivers navigate slick roads.