An early March storm is bringing the threat of winter weather to parts of northwestern North Carolina tonight, but NCDOT crews have already begun pre-treating roads in the region in advance of the possible wintry mix.
NCDOT crews in Division 11 are currently working to brine roads in Caldwell, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties, where a winter weather advisory will be in effect from 6 p.m. tonight until noon on Friday. The division's remaining counties (Avery, Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga) are also expecting a wintry mix overnight, and roads in those counties still have some salt residue from recent de-icing operations that will help prevent ice from bonding to the pavement in this storm.
The National Weather Service says this storm is capable of producing ice, sleet and snow, which could create hazardous driving conditions across the region. As temperatures continue to fall overnight, it’s possible for patches of black ice to develop. NCDOT crews in Division 11 will be monitoring road conditions for slick spots and will treat those spots with salt and sand, as needed.
NCDOT has developed this video regarding black ice and offers the following safety tips for driving in winter weather:
Clear windows and mirrors;
Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles;
Approach bridges and overpasses 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 in the event of an emergency by dialing 911; and
Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.
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.