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Freezing Rain Hits Western NC as Eastern Counties Continue to Dig Out from Last Week’s Storm DOT Crews Continue to Clear Roads in Eastern NC, Drivers Affected by Freezing Rain Urged to Remain Cautious

RALEIGH

Another round of winter weather is expected to cause hazardous travel conditions later today across the North Carolina mountains, foothills and portions of the Triad, Governor Roy Cooper cautioned North Carolinians this morning.
 
“We’re seeing another day of messy winter weather for portions of our state in what has been an unusually cold week for North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “Thanks to the road crews and first responders for their continued great work. Fortunately, warmer temperatures are on the way and beginning tomorrow the entire state can expect some welcome relief from this bitter cold snap.”
 
The National Weather Service this morning issued a Winter Weather Advisory for all of western North Carolina and northern portions of the Piedmont. Freezing rain has already begun in the southern mountains and will spread throughout the morning to the northern mountains, foothills and Triad areas.
 
While the ice accumulation is not expected to be extensive enough to knock out power, it will make for hazardous road conditions throughout the day in the impacted areas. The Foothills and Triad will be the last areas to see temperatures climb above freezing, so slick road conditions could persist into the late evening. Conditions will improve on Tuesday as afternoon highs in the 50s will return to the state.
 
NCDOT crews in the western part of the state are prepared to address any issues that may arise from today’s freezing rain. Some roads still have salt from last week’s storm, while the decision to pretreat roads with brine in other areas was dependent on the type of precipitation expected.
 
In eastern North Carolina, interstates and many primary roads are clear except for some icy patches, but the ice and snow-covered secondary roads remain the biggest issue. Roads have been plowed in most counties, but ice remains bonded to the roadway in many locations because of the extremely low temperatures, which reached below zero in some areas on Sunday night.
 
With temperatures expected to rise into the 40s this afternoon, transportation crews anticipate significant improvement to road conditions. Local crews are getting continued assistance from the 166 workers and 172 pieces of equipment already brought in from other parts of the state, with additional help arriving today from the central part of the state. Above freezing temperatures overnight Monday, combined with the tons of salt already put down on the roads will continue to help melt the ice, making it easier to push off the roads.
 
Approximately half of the state’s school systems were closed again Monday – including Buncombe, Cumberland, New Hanover, Orange and Pitt county systems – and another 10 either had delayed starts or early release for more than 70 school systems impacted.
 
A state of emergency that the Governor signed Jan. 3 remains in effect, 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.
 
The Adverse Weather Policy is in effect for state employees in the Triad, western and eastern North Carolina counties where travel conditions are expected to be hazardous. State employees should coordinate with their supervisors.
 
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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