Crews begin brining roads ahead of icy weekend weather

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Department of Transportation crews began brining roads Thursday morning ahead of the anticipated wintry mix on Sunday.

According to the latest forecast, a snow storm is less likely for our area, but major ice accumulations could be a problem for much of central North Carolina, from the Triangle down to Fayetteville. Areas north of the Triangle could still see some snow.



"We're taking care of the state maintained routes, starting with the interstates and then the primary routes," said Marty Homan, a representative for NC DOT. "We have a priority list that we go through."

Homan said in addition to the interstates, popular roads like Capital Boulevard and Wade Avenue are also on the DOT's list.

Homan said crews will spend Thursday and Friday spreading brine on roads across Wake, Durham, Franklin, Person, Granville and Warren counties.

"We plan to put out in advance of this storm about 160,000 gallons of brine," Homan said, adding that should be enough to cover the approximately 3,600 miles of road across those counties.

Homan said Wake County's 1,500 miles of road alone needs about 70,000 gallons of brine.

He added that the process will take about two days, allowing them to finish just in time before any snow falls.

"Doing this in advance gives us a chance to change out the equipment on our trucks, from brining to then applying salt to then putting the blades on the front of the trucks," Homan said. "And also, it'll give our crews a chance to rest up from brining non-stop."

But just like other industries, the state department of transportation is short on staff.

"With this storm, there is a possibility that we may not be able to respond as quickly as in previous storms due to COVID impacts to staffing and the staffing of our contractors," Homan said.

Homan asked that drivers give brining and salt trucks plenty of room to operate and not to get too close.

Cumberland County Emergency Services said it closely monitoring the upcoming winter weather system and encourages residents to start preparing for potential effects. Besides the ABC11 Mobile App, residents can get Cumberland County-specific inclement weather alerts and other information by signing up here.

Orange County is also keeping a close eye on the weather.

"This storm is likely to be a brief but intense weather event," Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said. "The systems that dump snow, sleet, and freezing rain are particularly dangerous. Road conditions vary and catch motorists off-guard. Residential streets might be covered in snow, but more well-travelled roads may be covered in ice, especially on bridges and overpasses."

Residents are encouraged to stay home if possible.

"When the weather clears and you are able to move about, be sure to clean snow and ice off your vehicle," Blackwood said. "Many crashes result when people only clear a small porthole on their windshields. Also, remember to clean off your roof, trunk, and hood. If you do not, sheets of ice and snow are likely to peel off as you drive and land on the vehicles of other motorists, potentially causing crashes, injury, and property damage. Please be safe and considerate."

CLOSINGS


Due to the possible inclement weather, some schools and businesses may decide to close. You can check up-to-date closings here.

If you are in charge of closings for a school of business, the only way to report your organization's closing or delay to ABC11 is by using our online system. The phone system that was used in the past is not operational. Your ID code from the phone system remains the same and it also serves as your Pass Code into the online system.

If you would like to register your organization with ABC11, please email the following information to closingcenter@abc11mail.com. Please do not mail closing information to this email address.

Organization Name:
Type of Organization: (school, church, business, day care, government office)
Mailing Address:
Organization's Phone Number:
Contact Person:
Contact's Email:
Contact's Mobile Phone:
Copyright © 2022 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.