Tuesday travel will be treacherous

Published 10:18 pm Monday, March 3, 2014

By driving standards, Monday’s dose of winter weather will pale in comparison to what’s in store on Tuesday.

Despite the promise of clear skies, travel will be treacherous on local roadways, especially during the early to mid morning hours.

With lows predicted in the mid to upper teens Monday night, a day’s worth of rain, then sleet, followed by several heavy snow bands will freeze on local roads.

“Tuesday morning could prove as the worst driving conditions from this winter storm,” said Hertford County Emergency Management Director Chris Smith. “We’ll have some sunshine on Tuesday, but the temperature isn’t expected to rise above freezing until the early afternoon, so we will not have a wide window of opportunity to see any melting of the snow and ice.”

There were several motor vehicle accidents throughout the Roanoke-Chowan area Monday afternoon and into the early evening. Most all were minor mishaps….vehicles running off the road and coming to rest in a soggy ditch.

“I would highly recommend staying off the roads in the early morning hours of Tuesday…at least let the sun come up before leaving home so you can see what kind of shape the roads are in,” Smith noted. “If you are out on the roads, take your time, avoid sudden braking if all possible, and leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and one you may be following.”

North Carolina DOT will be out in force working to clear the local roads of snow and ice. They also offer some tips for those operating motor vehicles on the icy roads:

Clear windows and mirrors;

Approach bridges and overpasses with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge unless necessary;

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;

Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection in case any vehicles coming from other directions lose control of their vehicles while trying to stop;

If you have a cellular phone, take it with you. You can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling *HP (*47) or call law enforcement in the event of an emergency by dialing 911; and

Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.

You can also get emergency information from the N.C. Department of Public Safety at www.readync.org, and download the ReadyNC app to help you prepare for everything from road conditions to severe storms on a daily basis. It is available for free in the AppStore for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.