NCDOT battles icy secondary roads, pervasive black ice

WAVY/Lauren Compton
WAVY/Lauren Compton

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) – Crews in North Carolina continue to clear roads around the clock, but warn of black ice and say secondary streets are still substantially covered in snow, ice or slush.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), Thursday’s below-freezing temperatures combined with this week’s snow created pervasive black ice on roads across the state.

NCDOT maintenance crews spent Wednesday plowing and spreading salt and sand on primary routes. They continued the work Wednesday until most, if not all, four-lane primary roads were clear. Still, they warn drivers about black ice on all roads overnight and in the morning.

“It makes me nervous, but not for me, for the other drivers, ’cause you know some other people don’t take into consideration the conditions, so it’s a little bit scary,” said North Carolina resident Donna Avalos.

NCDOT has 111 trucks and 27 motor graders working on snow removal in 14 counties near Elizabeth City. So far, they’ve spread about 900 tons of salt, but locals told 10 On Your Side they are still having trouble getting out of side streets and secondary roads.

“I live over in Camden, and none of the side streets have been done,” said North Carolina resident Rodney Harroll. “Highway 343 was ok, but leaving the neighborhood this morning, it was a complete sheet of ice. The bridges were ok, but overall all the side streets have been pretty bad.”

In Kill Devil Hills, the police department tells WAVY.com NC 158 is in pretty good shape, but NC 12 still has large patches of ice and slush. They also report most secondary roads are covered with snow and ice.

If you have to drive, NCDOT has these 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.

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