By Jesse Wood
Jan. 13, 2015. As the National Weather Service expanded its Winter Weather Advisory alert to include the mountains of Northwestern North Carolina, the state transportation department followed by urging motorists to use caution as freezing rain moves into the region.
The National Weather Service advisory, which forecasts a possible mixture of freezing rain and light sleet and snow, expires at noon on Wednesday. The National Weather Service warned of slick roads and sidewalks, and pointed out that the Blue Ridge Parkway could “especially” be a troublesome area with icy sections of roadway.
The N.C. Department of Transportation noted that crews are prepared for this installment of winter weather, which it said could be potentially hazardous for the next few days in most of Western North Carolina.
“Motorists in the High County could see freezing rain today and Wednesday, while motorists in other parts of western North Carolina, including Hickory, Asheville and Sylva, could see similar weather move in early Wednesday,” the NCDOT release said. “NCDOT has the necessary crews and supplies needed to respond to this winter storm and is prepared should the weather change. NCDOT remains in close contact with the NWS to monitor the forecast and change response plans, if necessary.”
The NCDOT also said that it doesn’t typically pre-treat roads with brine if a winter storm moves in as rain because the rain dilutes the salt and water, rinses it of the roadway and therefore makes the treatment ineffective.
For updated forecasts, click to RaysWeather.com.
For those that are travelling, the NCDOT offered these safety tips:
- Bridges, elevated roadways and overpasses accumulate ice first. Approach them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on the bridge;
- Clear windows and mirrors;
- Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles;
- 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;
- If you have a cellular phone, take it with you. You can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling HP (*47) or call the county emergency center by dialing 911; and
- Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection where traffic lights are out. Treat this scenario as a four-way stop.