Local roads are treacherous

Published 1:55 pm Thursday, January 4, 2018

A beautiful white blanket of snow covers the Roanoke-Chowan area, resulting in a “staycation” at home for the majority of local residents.

But for those having to travel to and from work on Thursday, they were greeted by treacherous roads.

Local emergency management officials are urging citizens to stay at home and off the roads if all possible.

“It’s bad out there,” said Hertford County Emergency Management Director Chris Smith around noon on Thursday after completing a ride around the county. “The roads are in bad shape.”

Smith reported an average of 5 to 7 inches of snow fell on Hertford County.

“That’s not the major problem,” he stated, “rather it’s the snow drifts that are as high as five feet in some spots I saw.”

Smith said those drifts were extremely problematic for those on the roads earlier today.

“We – EM, the sheriff’s deputies, and town police – had about 25-to-30 calls this morning from stranded motorists,” he reported. “The majority of those vehicles encountered snow drifts on the roads, while a few others slipped off the road into the ditch.”

Smith said NCDOT is currently working to clear the main roads. Secondary roads are number two on the DOT priority list.

There were a few power outages reported Wednesday night, particularly along Lee Jernigan Road south of Ahoskie.

“To my knowledge, all power was restored in a timely manner,” Smith noted.

There are reports of some businesses opening today in Ahoskie and Murfreesboro.

“DOT is doing a good job of working to clear Memorial Drive (US 13) in Ahoskie,” said Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh. “Our town crews are working on our major streets.”

However, even with the DOT efforts, another blast of frigid air will lead to “black ice” on local roads. Tonight’s low temperature is forecasted at 7 degrees. Despite ample sunshine on Friday and Saturday, the high temperature will only be in he mid-20’s. Overnight lows will hover near zero.

“Whatever moisture is left on the roads will refreeze tonight, and with the high temperatures over the next couple of days not reaching 32 degrees, travel will remain treacherous,” Smith closed.

Hertford County Public Schools are closed on Friday for students and staff.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal