Raleigh – Crews from NCDOT Division 5, which includes Wake and Durham counties, as well as Franklin, Granville, Warren, Vance and Person counties, made considerable progress on clearing major highways through the day. Once the winter precipitation ended about 9 a.m., crews in all seven counties were able to begin clearing interstates and primary roads, and not have to worry about more winter weather making them do it over again.
Those major roads are mostly clear, with some slippery spots still around. It’s mostly a slushy mix in some spots on highways in Wake and Durham counties, but more icy spots for highways in counties to the north, where the snow accumulation was considerably higher. While the snowfall was less in the Triangle, there were numerous trees downed by heavy snow and freezing rain that fell. Clearing those off roadways slowed some of the clearing progress down.
As the two biggest counties in the Division in terms of road mileage, Wake and Durham crews received extra help from their counterparts in areas to the east and south that weren’t as hard hit with the winter weather. Crews from Columbus County and from counties around Wilmington, which experienced mostly rain overnight, were able to send 21 trucks and 33 employees into Wake County, which is contending with more than 4,000 lane miles of secondary roads to clear. Counties from around Greenville and New Bern contributed 12 trucks and 15 employees to cleanup efforts in Durham County.
In Wake County, crews who have been going for 24 hours and longer are being sent home early this evening. In their place overnight will be workers from the Wake County Bridge Maintenance Unit to keep an eye on the strong possibility that ice will be forming on bridges, overpasses and anywhere else that water remains on roadways. Crews in the other divisions, who have also been working all night and day, will also go home, to be replaced by smaller crews to deal with slick spots.
Full crews across the Division will return Friday morning to help contend with the ice threat. With the help of those out of town crews in Wake and Durham counties, each county expects to make significant progress on the secondary roads. Mother Nature will help as the daytime temperature should reach into the 40’s in most areas.
Because of the low temperature overnight, motorists need to remain cautious on the roads as there will be patches of ice through the morning commute. If you do venture out, allow for extra time to reach your destination, and keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of you.
NCDOT offers these other safety tips for driving in icy conditions:
- Approach bridges and overpasses them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge unless necessary;
- If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car;
- Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection in case any vehicles coming from other directions lose control of their vehicles while trying to stop.
- If you have a cellular phone, take it with you. You can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling *HP (*47) or call law enforcement by dialing 911. But please don’t call 911 to check on road conditions. That line must be kept open for emergencies.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone and bookmark it to save for future use.
You can also get emergency information from the N.C. Department of Public Safety at http://readync.org, and download the ReadyNC app to help you prepare for everything from road conditions to severe storms on a daily basis. It is available for free in the AppStore for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.