Northampton roads improving

Published 8:31 am Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Despite a foot of snow on the ground in some places, Northampton County has had a little bit of luck

The historic Christmas weekend snowstorm that dumped inches of powder across the Roanoke-Chowan region left Northampton with varied snow amounts in the county.

Communications Director Ronnie Storey said the snowfall totals varied from nine to 12 inches.

“A foot is a good average for (the county seat of) Jackson,” he said.

Despite the large amount of snow on the ground, Storey said the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) kept the main roads (e.g. US 158 and 258, NC 46 and 48 etc.) in the county clear on Sunday.

“They did a real good job on the main roads,” said Storey. “Today (Monday), they’re working on secondary roads.”

DOT County Maintenance Engineer Jack Liverman said 28 people have been working to clear roads since the beginning of the storm Christmas night.

“We came in Christmas night and worked a 22-hour shift and then came right back in,” he said.

Liverman said the conditions of the roads are improving, but drivers must remain vigilant.

“All of the primary roads are clear, though there may be a few icy spots,” he said.

On Monday, DOT crews worked to maintain primary roads and work on secondary roads. Liverman said by the end of today (Monday) they hoped to have at least one pass with a plow on each secondary road.

As far as weather-related accidents in the county, Storey said none had serious injuries.

He said the county experienced a “wad” of accidents where vehicles left the road ways and ended up in ditches. He said the weather also caused a few fender-benders with many of them happening on Interstate 95.

“I thought we were very lucky,” he said.

Homeowners and residents were also luck with no major damage to homes reported. Story said there were a few sporadic power outages due to tree branches falling on power lines, but none were widespread.

Storey advised drivers on traveling the next few days. On Monday, not much snow melt was expected with temperatures predicted stay just above freezing.

Storey urged caution for those who plan to travel on Tuesday, especially in the morning with black ice from roads freezing overnight.

Liverman also said motorists should pay special attention to the slick roads as well, especially secondary roads.

“(Drivers) should really be careful with those,” he said. “Secondary roads are still dangerous.”