Weather

Triangle prepares for wintry mix

Posted January 28, 2010 3:20 p.m. EST
Updated January 29, 2010 11:44 a.m. EST

— 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.

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.