Conditions Improve, Governor Calls for Patience as Road Clearing Work Continues
Posted 1/19/2018 11:21:04 AM
RALEIGH – With some melting Thursday and temperatures on the rise again Friday, North Carolina’s interstates and major highways are in good shape, but many secondary roads and neighborhood streets are still treacherous. Governor Cooper urged everyone to be patient just a little while longer before venturing out and to drive carefully if they do.
“The sun is back out and temperatures are climbing. Primary roads are much improved today, but many secondary roads are still slick in places,” Gov. Cooper said. “You can help by continuing to stay off the roads where snow and ice are still in the way, and use caution while driving if you must travel.”
The State Highway Patrol investigated more than 3,000 crashes from Tuesday night through 11 a.m. Friday, and received nearly 5,000 calls for service since the storm began.
One traffic fatality was reported in rural Washington County, near Roper, where a vehicle went off the road and overturned in a canal. The occupant of that vehicle Lee Deshawn Norman, 26, of Plymouth, died. The cause of the collision is under investigation but state troopers advise the roadway was snow-covered at the time of the collision.
Another fatality that may have been weather related was reported this morning in Durham when a tow truck ran off the road and its driver was killed. The Durham Police Department is investigating the cause.
In most of the state, interstates and other primary roads are clear with some icy patches. N.C. Department of Transportation road crews are now focused on clearing secondary two-lane and neighborhood roads throughout the day. That effort, combined with the warmer temperatures and sunshine, should allow road crews to clear many secondary roads before this evening. Wet roadways will likely refreeze overnight leading to slick roads in some locations again Saturday morning, so road crews will be back at work Saturday where needed.
A winter weather advisory for a large portion of the state expired early Friday afternoon. Another winter weather advisory is likely to be reissued Friday evening since refreezing could make travel hazardous.
Areas of the Triad and Triangle will experience a gradual rise in temperatures Friday. More melting is expected as temperatures will reach the mid to upper 40s in snow-covered areas and lower 50s elsewhere. With clear skies tonight, lows will dip below freezing again. A cycle of melting and refreezing is anticipated through the weekend.
Power outages are way down as utility workers have worked to restore outages quickly. As of 11 a.m. there were less than 200 homes and businesses without power, down from a peak Wednesday evening of approximately 40,000 homes and businesses without power statewide.
A state of emergency that the Governor signed Tuesday 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.
Across the state, approximately 75 percent of schools remained closed Friday with several others delaying their start. The Adverse Weather Policy for state employees remains in effect in areas impacted by the winter storm and its lingering conditions.
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.
Real-time weather and road conditions, as well as winter safety tips, can also be found on the free ReadyNC mobile app or at ReadyNC.org.
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A N.C. Department of Transportation road crew plows snow from I-40 in Iredell County on Jan. 18, 2018.
View on NCDOT.gov