NC DOT, business owners prepare for Wednesday's winter weather

Posted January 16, 2018 5:14 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 1:41 p.m. EDT

— As school districts began canceling Wednesday classes and much of central North Carolina was placed under a winter storm warning or a winter weather advisory, city employees were preparing the roads for winter weather.

Steve Halsey, Raleigh's Street Maintenance Manager, says Raleigh does the best they can with the resources they have. The city has nine tanks to pretreat 2,400 miles of roads.

"If the snow does come down, it will give us a little help in keeping the snow from sticking to the pavement and make it a little easier if it does start coming down," Halsey said.

Crews removed the tanks and equipped the trucks with plows. They will be filled with rock salt and hit the road once the snow starts to fall

Crews in Cumberland County are responsible for taking care of Interstate 95 all the way from the South Carolina border up to Exit 81, where I-95 meets Interstate 40. That work has been completed.

The main highways have been completed, and they also plan to treat other major highways until the first flakes start falling.

As temperatures are expected to dip into the teens, residents are going to have the most problems in their neighborhoods and on secondary roads

Bill Hammond with the Department of Transportation warns to avoid secondary roads if possible.

"The secondary roads might be wide open and dry, but when you start going around the curb, where the tree canopy is covering the road, you might have an icy patch," Hammond said. "So you’ve got to use caution where you live and usually if you've lived there long enough, you know where the icy patches are."

He expects the sun to take care of some melting after the snow event passes through, but he expects whatever melts to refreeze overnight.

At that point, the DOT plans to focus on putting sand and salt down on the bridges and on areas known to get a little slick after snow falls.

There's a small army of men and women already on 12-hour shifts. Hammond plans to rotate his crews as much as possible to keep the trucks on the road to try to make things as safe as possible.

If you see one of the big yellow trucks on the road, give them room to do their job. Better yet, don't go out if you don't have to.

As crews prepared the major roadways, homeowners were also buying supplies for their homes.

Skip Ward stopped by for some salt for his driveway.

"My daughter says we're all a bunch of babies," he said. "She says you close the town when you get an inch or two of snow."

Cold weather items are always a hot commodity when snow is in the forecast.

"Definitely sleds," said John Toaso, owner of Town and Country Hardware in Apex, "I have sleds, of course shovels and of course the ice melt."

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