ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) – As the temperature dropped, black ice formed on the roadways in Elizabeth City, creating big problems for motorists.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation said salt is not effective below 20 degrees, so salt wasn’t able to be put down on the roads, leaving them slick.
If you get caught on black ice and begin to slide, WAVY’s Anne McNamara has tips on what to do:
You could see pavement on Route 17 and other main roads in Elizabeth City, but most side roads were still covered with snow as of Wednesday evening. Crews with NCDOT hoped to start clearing secondary roads by the end of the night and into Thursday.
McNamara reported quite a few contracted crews cleared snow out of business parking lots throughout the day Wednesday.
North Carolina Emergency Management and the governor arranged to have Humvees follow ambulances overnight Wednesday. Emergency Management teams also conducted welfare checks on disabled and senior citizens in the city.
Snow flurries started in Elizabeth City around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, changing over to ice at 7:30 p.m. McNamara said the conditions were going from icy to snowy and back again Tuesday evening. As of 7:45 p.m., two inches of snow had accumulated, and NCDOT trucks were plowing the main roads, which had been pretreated with brine.
Around 4 a.m. Wednesday, McNamara reported heavy snowfall, with about four to five inches of accumulation. Plows were out to treat the main roadways, but couldn’t address the side roads. A police cruiser was stuck in the snow and needed an extra push from WAVY photographer Joel Hilton.
Western counties sent 54 trucks to eastern counties to help with the storm. Road crews in Elizabeth City worked 12-hour shifts from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 8 a.m. Wednesday.
In a news conference Wednesday, North Carolina’s governor said those trucks were “lifesavers.”
To see traffic cameras in Dare County and other parts of North Carolina, click here.
The Coast Guard station in Elizabeth City sent two C-130s to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to be on standby for search and rescue. That was because the C-130s need clear runways and snow in Elizabeth City coated the runways.
Officials also had a separate operations plan in place for snow removal at the Coast Guard station in Elizabeth City.