Triangle prepares for wintry mix

Posted January 28, 2010
Updated January 29, 2010

— The state Department of Transportation and the city of Durham began laying down an anti-icing salt-brine mix on roadways Wednesday afternoon. Raleigh and Cary crews will start treating roadways Thursday evening.

Back in January 2005, just an inch of snow and ice turned Triangle roads into parking lots for hours. The storm prompted Raleigh leaders to come up with a new snow plan.

“We used to put salt on the bridges, but nothing on the thoroughfares,” Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said.

Since the storm five years ago, Meeker said, all major roadways in the city are pre-treated when there's a threat of a winter storm.

“The city is being much more proactive. You see more salting and brining down event if it doesn’t turn out to be snow and that’s going to happen again,” he said.

Crews prep roads for when flakes fall Triangle crews prep roadways

In Cary, workers put brine on the all of the main roadways and were starting to look at secondary roads on Thursday.

“It (salt-brine mix) is good for up to three days providing no rain comes first ,” Cary's Public Works Director Scott Hecht said.

Cary has more than 2,000 tons of sand/salt mix on hand and an additional 600 tons of pure salt. Hecht said the town has 56 pieces of snow-fighting equipment available to clear Cary’s 470 miles of roads, about 118 miles of which are state-maintained roads.

Progress Energy was also preparing for potential ice and snow. The company readied crews from other parts of the state and region to respond to any outages that might occur. Customers can call 800-419-6356 to report any outages.

RDU prepares for snow removal, JetBlue cancels flights

Raleigh-Durham International Airport's maintenance crews have started preparing snow removal equipment. Officials said they are ready to being treating runways, taxiways and roadways when precipitation begins to fall.

In preparation for the wintry mix, JetBlue has canceled all flights arriving and departing Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Saturday. The airline expects to resume operations on Sunday.

Other cancellations are expected. During inclement weather events, each airline determines if it will cancel or delay flights, officials said.

Passengers with travel plans over the next several days are advised to contact their airline to check the status of their flight.

N.C. Zoo closes for weekend

Due to the threat of icy weather and dangerous road conditions, the North Carolina Zoo will be closed to the public this weekend.

Zoo officials said they are concerned for the safety and comfort of visitors and opted to close the park.

Stores prepare for rush on supplies

Meanwhile, local home improvement stores reported that shovels and melting ice are "flying off the shelves."

At Lowe's in Cary, people were heading in for items like generators and tarps to protect sensitive outdoor items.

"Nobody is panicking yet, we haven't got to that stage. But some people are coming in specifically for those items and heading back out," said Richard Brunston, of Lowe's.

Some businesses, however, were not looking forward to the approaching wintry weather.

“Snowing is bad for business. When it snows here in Cary, it's real slow,” said Said Boyleqcha, owner of Serendipity Deli.

For children, however, the snow can't come fast enough.

“I wish it would snow this year. It hasn't really snowed this year," 6-year-old Emory Leonhardt said.


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  • Tired of thoughtlessness Jan 29, 2010

    time4real needs a hobby. I swear he trolls weather stories to post something negative in each one.

  • kathydianne Jan 29, 2010

    Why do you guys get in such a panic over a little or alot of snow? Just stay home and enjoy the beauty of it. It all melts the next day. I live in Portland Oregon. Last year, I couldn't get my car out for 8 days. I survived just fine. I got to work by cab or friends with 4 wheel drive. It will be fine.

  • Remy Jan 29, 2010

    I bet if time4real asked around, they would find that some of thier friends or family got stuck in that traffic in 2005. Go call them dumb to their faces and see what you get.

  • time4real Jan 29, 2010

    no one wishes a disaster on anyone, but if you were too dumb to go get in that joke back then, you would probably qualify for a "sociopath or plain ignorant."!

  • Bendal1 Jan 29, 2010


    Yes, brine will wash off if it rains HARD after it's sprayed. If the rain turns to sleet or snow quickly (which this is expected to do), then it won't wash off and will still be effective.

    And anyone who wishes the disaster a few years ago when that light snowfall turned into a quarter inch of ice everywhere is either a sociopath or plain ignorant. I know of many people who took 12 hours+ to get home, or were trapped on the roads overnight. Had you been someone needing emergency services that day you would be singing a different tune now.

    If you dislike this weather so much, move to Atlanta; I hear they've got no snow removal equipment down there so you'd feel right at home.

  • time4real Jan 29, 2010

    "So you would rather they did nothing and have the mess that happened a few years ago"

    In a word, YES! If you got stuck in that joke a few years ago I hope you ran out of gas and had to be towed! Those people showed the country just how dumb Raleigh commuters are!

  • roadkng48 Jan 29, 2010

    So you would rather they did nothing and have the mess that happened a few years ago when we got 1/4 inch of sleet? Thank you to all the DOT, city and utilities employees who will be out in the middle of all this trying to make it safer for those that do have to go out. Better safe than sorry!

  • iPWN Jan 29, 2010

    How can you hate so hard, so early in the morning?

  • time4real Jan 29, 2010

    brine won't work if it rains, they said so themselves genius! it will start as rain most likely and 90% of it will end up in a ditch and the water system. mmmmmmmmmmmm, ever wonder why your city water tastes like bunk?
    thanks DOT and Cary, thanks to you guys, if it works, no one will have an excuse not to show up to work tomorrow!

  • Bendal1 Jan 29, 2010

    Anyone saying "brine doesn't work" doesn't know what they're talking about. It's widely used in states that get snow like NC does, and is very effective as a pretreatment for the roads. Light rain won't wash it off either, and the predictions indicate this will start as snow/ice, not rain anyway.