Tuesday precipitation mixed with freezing overnight conditions has officials urging drivers to use caution when taking to the roads.
“Don’t take unnecessary risks and use extra caution if you are driving,” said N.C. Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry.
Crews across the state took to the roads Tuesday preparing for the cold front by spreading salt brine, a mix of salt and water used to prevent ice from forming and adhering to road surfaces. Additional crews utilized snow plows as well as salt and sand to clear roads once the front moved through the area, said Rocky Mount Public Works Assistant Director Blair Hinkle. “Before people are even awake, we’ll have salt and sand spreading trucks treating, particularly the bridges and overpasses and any other slick spots we find,” Hinkle said. “We are hoping the sun comes out and melts anything that does stick.”
Officials urged drivers to allow extra space between other cars and to drive slower than posted speed limits to increase control if the car begins to slide. If a vehicle slides on ice, release the accelerator and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide without applying the brakes, which can cause drivers to further lose control of the vehicle. The wintery weather caused several delays and closures throughout the area. Officials said the Tar River Transit will start service at 10:15 a.m. today.
Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools and North East Carolina Preparatory School will operate on a two-hour delay today. Edgecombe County Public Schools and Edgecombe Community College will operate on a three-hour delay.
Cold temperatures will stay in the area throughout the week, said meteorologist Michael Moneypenny of the National Weather Service in Raleigh.
The high today is 30 with overnight temperatures at 15 degrees, warming to low 40s on Thursday when a dry cold front moves through the area. Friday’s high is expected to be around freezing and highs throughout the weekend are forecasted to be in the 40s.
“Bundle up and stay warm,” Moneypenny said.
Officials urged residents to dress in layers instead of one single layer of heavy clothing to avoid overheating. While power outages are not anticipated, authorities urged residents to be prepared with alternative heating sources, flashlights and batteries as well as an emergency food and water supply.
Don’t forget to check on neighbors, especially senior adults, who might struggle with extreme temperatures.