Sunshine and favorable conditions in northwestern North Carolina today will help N.C. Department of Transportation crews continue to clear roads throughout the region, including many of the area's secondary roads.
Primary roads are mostly clear in Division 11, which includes Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties. Crews will spend today clearing secondary routes in the division and treating any icy patches remaining on the roads.
Thursday night, NCDOT had multiple snow plows and salt spreaders operating on I-74, I-77 and U.S. 52 after a heavy band of snow blanketed that region Thursday afternoon, causing accidents and congestion. Traffic is moving normally in those areas this morning, but because of possible icy patches, motorists are still encouraged to use caution when traveling in the area. Black ice can form in shady spots even though the rest of the road looks clear and dry.
If you're not able to stay at home, here are a few 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;
Be on the lookout for fallen tree limbs and power lines from snow/ice accumulation. NCDOT crews work with local power companies to remove the fallen limbs and downed lines as quickly as possible;
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.
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.