NCDOT preparing as pair of winter storms approach state

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The N.C. Department of Transportation is getting work crews and equipment ready for a pair of winter storms taking aim at the state.

Officials have scheduled a news conference for Wednesday on the department’s plans to prepare roads for the storms.

Forecasts call for a half-inch of snow on Wednesday evening, and with the ground already being cold, NCDOT says conditions are appropriate for pretreatment of roads.

“Safety is always our top priority. Our crews are always watching the forecast. As we’ve seen here in the past it doesn’t take much snow or ice to cause some slick spots on the major roads and to cause some major traffic impact,” said Mike Charbonneau, NCDOT.

The National Weather Service also says a storm expected to reach the state late Thursday could drop a mixture of wintry precipitation as well as heavy rain before it clears out on Saturday.

The Triangle isn’t expected to see a significant amount of ice or snow Wednesday, but could see more wintry weather Friday into the weekend.

The state DOT says after they pre-treat the roads, they’ll wait for it to snow. At that time, DOT trucks will be sent out with salt and sand.

“They try to hit all the major interstates and primary roads first. Try to put down as much as we can before a storm. Obviously, if a storm comes in with rain first, it can just wash away all the brine,” Charbonneau said. “When they have dry conditions like they’ve had yesterday and today, they try to get as many of those roads covered as possible.”

State officials are also reminding people to be safe when it comes to staying warm and to avoid using alternate or additional heating sources like ovens, grills or other heaters that could pose as a hazard.

Duke Energy provides several programs to assist its customers with higher electric bills. You can find that information here.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. WNCN contributed to this article.

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