Ice, snow accumulation causing deterioration of road conditions; 200 crashes reported statewide

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Monday, January 17, 2022
Ice and snow blanketed parts of central North Carolina on Sunday
Ice and snow blanketed parts of central North Carolina on Sunday

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Snow and ice are started to accumulate across central North Carolina, just as the First Alert Weather Team warned it would Saturday morning.

In a news conference, Gov. Roy Cooper and other state officials urged North Carolinians to stay home and stay off the roads.

"Don't take unnecessary chances with this dangerous winter storm," Cooper said.

The wintry mix got started an hour or two later than expected due to a drying out of the atmosphere, but the wintry precipitation eventually started coming down.

Many areas saw a buildup of ice and snow on roadways, trees, vehicles and other areas outside early Sunday. Areas are expected to refreeze overnight Sunday causing black ice in some areas.

Orange County had 12 vehicles crash on Interstate 40 and Interstate 85 Sunday Morning with several accidents happening later in the afternoon.

"We're starting to see more and more ice accumulate out there, so...we definitely encourage you to stay home and ride this thing out," NCDOT spokesperson Marty Hohman said.

During the noon news conference, North Carolina State Highway Patrol commander Col. Freddy Johnson said troopers had responded to 460 calls and at least 200 collisions statewide, with more expected as the day continued. He advised drivers increase their following distance, lower their speed and watch for downed trees and power lines.

"Travel is treacherous across most of our state," North Carolina Department of Transportation secretary Eric Boyette said.

Cooper noted a portion of I-95 was closed in Robeson County due to a downed power line. A detour is in place for drivers.

Emergency services officials spoke to ABC11 throughout the morning, asking people to avoid traveling Sunday.

Roxboro Police Chief David Hess asked everyone to stay off the roads. For those who absolutely must drive, Hess simply said, "Don't crowd the plows."

Raleigh-Durham International Airport canceled 155 flights Sunday. The airport's director of media relations said the airport has seen some slight improvements Sunday afternoon, and a few flights are were scheduled to take off during the evening hours.

"We closed our primary and secondary runways to clean them up and make sure that it is safe for landing and takeoff." Stephanie Hawco said. "Things are looking much better right now."


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