Rain before snow challenged DOT

March 2, 2009 10:27:07 AM PST
North Carolina needed rain badly, and it got it this weekend.Beginning Friday and carrying on through late Sunday afternoon, the skies open up dumped a couple of inches on most of the Triangle.

While the rain may have been a blessing, it presented a big challenge to Department of Transportation officials who wanted to get a head start on pre-treating roads ahead of the expected snowstorm.

Their usual tactic is to spread brine - a mixture of salt and water - on major roads so that when the snow starts to fall it doesn't stick as easily.

"We weren't able to pre-treat the roads really because of the amount of rainfall we got prior to the storm. So we didn't do any pre-treating of the roads," said Jason Holmes with the DOT.

As soon as the rain ended, DOT crews leapt into action, spreading salt and sand on the major highways.

"We'll focus most of the day on getting interstates and primary routes cleaned up and then we'll move to secondaries," Holmes explained.

Holmes says he's most worried about Monday night into Tuesday when the temperatures are expected to drop into the teens.

"That's one of our concerns. With the forecasted temperatures being down into the teens the next couple of nights, you know, how much moisture and water we do have on the roadways and how that's going to effect the morning commutes today and tomorrow."

Holmes said some roads - especially side roads through neighborhoods - could be especially treacherous Tuesday morning.


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