Black ice remains, but most roads clear

Posted January 12, 2011

— Most major highways in central North Carolina were cleared of snow and ice by midday Tuesday, but dropping temperatures after nightfall refroze moisture on the ground, creating black ice.

Secondary roads also remained a challenge because they weren't as likely to be treated with brine and salt that helps melt ice from roads. 

"Interstates are relatively clear. They are passable. We are working on some major N.C. routes and then will turn our attention to secondary roads," Jason Holmes, director of operations for the Wake County division of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, said Tuesday.

Threat of black ice continues Wednesday morning Threat of black ice continues Wednesday morning

"There is a lot of potential for black ice in the morning hours," Holmes said. "There's no reason to be out on the roads (Wednesday) morning in these conditions."

The state Highway Patrol responded to almost 1,000 calls Tuesday morning and expected similar numbers Wednesday morning. Trooper Matt Young said the safest bet is to avoid the morning commute altogether.

"Our advice is to stay off the roads," Young said. "If you have to get on the roads, take it easy, drive slow, take your time and plan ahead."

Hoke County snow picture Snow coats some NC roads

Icy roads cause fender benders, two fatalities

The state Highway Patrol responded to more than 2,570 calls Monday after about 6 inches of snow fell in southern counties and freezing rain caused icy patches on Triangle roads, according to the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

Drivers slipped and slid across the roads of central North Carolina, but most wrecks did not result in serious injuries. Two drivers died on the slick roads.

In Roxboro, Kirk Tyler Brothers, 25, lost control on Wrenn-Crumpton Road, struck a tree and overturned around 8:15 p.m. Monday, according to authorities. His passenger was injured but was expected to live.

In Lenoir County, Paula Grant Woolard, 32, of Caroline Nicole Drive in Kinston, slid off Pauls Path Road near LaGrange and struck a tree, according to the Highway Patrol. She died on impact. The 2-year-old child in her vehicle was not injured.

Troopers closed part of Interstate 95 early Tuesday after several crashes in the same area. The most serious crash involved a tractor-trailer that wiped out on the Neuse River Bridge on Interstate 95 near Smithfield.

A tractor-trailer driver crashed on Interstate 85 near exit 182, Red Mill Road, in Durham County Tuesday morning. Another tractor-trailer had trouble Tuesday morning as it became stuck at the intersection of Walker and Chatham streets in Cary and blocked two lanes of traffic.

Perdue praises DOT efforts

Gov. Beverly Perdue praised the DOT's preparation and clearing efforts but noted the cost.

The state budgeted $30 million for storm response in fiscal year 2010-11 and has spent $26 million so far, she said.

"If you could do anything for the state, you can pray hard that we get warm weather for the rest of the winter," she said.

Holmes said brine spread before the wintry mix fell gave crews a head start, preventing some ice from bonding to the road surface.

"It's better to be safe than sorry," the governor said.

She declared a state of emergency for the entire state Monday, long before any precipitation fell in Raleigh. "That helps some workers and businesses make their decisions," she explained Tuesday.

While hundreds of businesses were closed Tuesday, DOT crews were putting in 24-hour shifts and would be on standby again for Wednesday, Holmes said.

Perdue asked the traveling public to stay off the roads to allow the DOT to finish its work.

"If you have any choice at all, stay home until it warms up a bit," she said.

Holmes said he hoped sun and evaporation would dry most roads by Wednesday afternoon.

The skies clear up for the rest of the week, Maze said, but blustery conditions Wednesday will make it feel like it is only in the 20s. A gradual warm-up completes the week, with the daytime highs reaching almost 50 degrees by Sunday. 


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  • ConcernedNCC Jan 12, 2011

    I wish people would stop calling all ice that's on the roads, "black ice". Black ice occurrs when ice is under a layer of water, such as when rain falls on existing ice, or when the ice begins to melt from rising temperatures or the sun. The layer of water makes the ice become transparent, making the road appear to be wet, rather than icy.

  • Arkansas Razorback Jan 12, 2011

    I can never figure out how they determine whether to close the schools or not. When my kids were in school Franklin County would close or delay if there was even snow or ice in the forcast.

  • I Change This Name Daily Jan 12, 2011

    whaaa jscott13 2 people mean only you and one other out of a million

    Source of Population Projection (Wake County Planning Department, March 19, 2009)





    US Census – April 1



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    Projected – Wake County Planning



    Projected – Wake County Planning



    Projected – Wake County Planning



    Projected – Wake County Planning

  • jkca Jan 12, 2011

    Another thing that can be a hazard is the ice falling off the power lines and trees. A huge piece of ice fell onto my windshield while ago and it sounded awful. Scared us to death. Glad it didn't land on a pedestrian.

  • jscott13 Jan 12, 2011

    I called the Wake County Administrative Offices to say that I do not appreciate parents and kids being required to drive in ice when the Highway Patrol and DOT are telling us not to do it. I was told that only 2 people had complained and that they are busy with the accreditation issue and public hearings tonight. Where does the issue of safety fit into the picture. Did anyone else call. If you feel strongly about this then pick up the phone and let them know!!

  • I Change This Name Daily Jan 12, 2011

    yeah this weather is obama's fault

    we need more conservative leadership they wouldn't let this weather happen

  • Baybee Doll Jan 12, 2011

    Today's commute was so much better.

  • bigal02282 Jan 12, 2011

    For those ostriches with their heads in the sand concerning climate change, keep your heads down. We who are aware and concerned for the earth we leave behind for our children will use your buttcracks for bicycle racks.

  • mdb3350 Jan 12, 2011

    Before anyone complains, I request you come to Hoke county (Raeford, Shannon) area and try to drive on our roads. Out DOT people have tried, but our roads are horrible and this is WED afternoon. Before printing or announcing that the roads are ok, someone should really travel them.....

  • starletta Jan 12, 2011

    Not just seniors have exams (that started for some schools TODAY) but exams for classes that don't have an EOC started today as well. Schools have to complete exams before the new semester begins because the testing office won't change the "testing window". That is why the driving on ice.