Cumberland County prepares for icy roads, power outages

Posted January 14, 2022 7:03 p.m. EST

— Residents who live in Cumberland and Moore counties could feel the brunt of this weekend's ice storm. Forecasters are predicting there could be enough accumulation of freezing rain and ice to bring down branches and cause power outages.

Cumberland County maintenance workers have about 4,500 miles of road to keep clear. Crews started Thursday putting down brine —the salt solution designed to battle the ice accumulation on the road.

"We've got 20,000 gallons in the storage now," said Jason Dunigan, maintenance engineer with Cumberland County. "We're continually making it while we're loading the trucks."

Both counties are known for the beauty of their Long-Leaf Pine trees. But that beauty can become torturous if ice forms on the limbs and falls on powerlines.

"Where the snow transitions to ice, or to freezing rain, that's where you can sometimes see a pocket of outages," said Jeff Brooks, a spokesperson with Duke Energy. "It only takes a quarter of an inch of ice on a tree limb to potentially bring it down."

Experts say now is the time to make sure you're ready with a 72 hour emergency kit, just in case power can't be quickly restored.

"Do you have a place to go, to have heat? Or do you have provisions within your home to stay warm, but also do that safely?" said Gene Booth, emergency management director for Cumberland County.

Officials say if you don't have to travel on Sunday, stay home.

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