Bitter Cold Continues Statewide, Roads Remain Treacherous in Areas Drivers Urged to Remain Cautious in Areas Impacted by Winter Storm

RALEIGH

While roads continue to improve from last week’s winter storm, persistent cold temperatures mean ice and snow linger in some areas and drivers should use caution, Governor Roy Cooper reminded North Carolinians Saturday.
 
“Road crews are making great progress clearing ice and snow but we could use a little help from Mother Nature with some warmer temperatures,” Gov. Cooper said. “Drivers and even pedestrians need to continue to be careful. Even roads that look clear can have slick spots.”
 
NC Department of Transportation crews continue to treat and clear roads through the weekend, with the concentration on the harder hit southeastern and coastal parts of the state, where ice has been the biggest issue in the bitter cold conditions.  State emergency management and transportation officials are also working with local officials to provide additional assistance to clear the runways at Pitt/Greenville Airport.
 
In most of the still impacted areas, a majority of the interstates are clear with icy spots, while other primary roads in many locations are partially covered with snow and ice. Attention today is focused on those primary roads and on secondary roads that remain snow or ice covered. NCDOT added resources to efforts in coastal and southeastern counties, with an additional 154 employees, 108 trucks and graders, and 55 pieces of supporting equipment from other parts of the state joining local crews. Overall, 1,374 NCDOT employees and 1,076 state and contract trucks and graders have battled winter weather this week, using more than 22,000 tons of salt on North Carolina roadways.
 
State officials are also watching closely a weather system that could bring light freezing rain or sleet to parts of the mountains and foothills Monday morning.
 
The State Highway Patrol reports slightly higher than normal call volumes in eastern North Carolina last night, but normal levels in all other parts of the state, including the Triangle, Triad, Sandhills, Charlotte and the west.  Since the start of last week's storm, state troopers have responded to more than 2,000 calls for service and 1,270 collisions.   
 
Four deaths were attributed to the winter storm, all due to traffic accidents. The weather-related fatalities include a man in Surf City whose vehicle went off the road and into a canal, two men who died when their truck overturned in a creek in Moore County, and one man who died when his truck ran off the road and overturned in Beaufort County.
 
Power outages peaked at more than 20,000 Thursday morning during the storm. As of noon on Saturday, about 2,900 homes and businesses were without power statewide, mostly in New Hanover, Dare, and Guilford counties.
 
A state of emergency that the Governor signed Wednesday remains in effect through the weekend, along with an executive order waiving truck weight, size and hours of service restrictions to ease movement of heating fuel, supplies and equipment and to allow restoration of utility services.
 
Gov. Cooper thanked the utility crews, first responders, and DOT crews for their hard work.
“We’re grateful to the men and women who brave the cold to fix our power, clear our roads and help us in times of trouble,” Gov. Cooper said.
 
Unusually cold temperatures remain across North Carolina through the weekend, with some of the coldest temperatures expected Saturday night. Get tips on cold weather safety from the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
 
Real-time weather and road conditions, as well as winter safety tips, can be found on the free ReadyNC mobile app or online at readync.org.
 
Travelers are urged to go to drivenc.gov for up to date roadway conditions. Motorists are reminded NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol Communication Centers for roadway conditions. Callers can dial 211 for information about other resources. Deaf and hard of hearing callers can reach 211 by dialing 888-892-1162.

 

 

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