Snow Falls, Roads Slippery
The police scanner is buzzing this morning with reports of cars sliding and bumping because of hazardous conditions created by the snow that started falling early today.
A central theme offered by officials contacted this morning was if you don't have to drive, don't.
Trooper D. P. Barber with the North Carolina Highway Patrol in Aberdeen said that his office was consistently busy this morning answering calls.
"We had quite a few wrecks this morning," Barber said. "We're asking everybody to stay off the road, if possible."
He said that the Highway Patrol was concerned about conditions this afternoon and evening. The temperatures were not expected to get above freezing until Wednesday, so icy conditions should develop later today with slushy roads freezing up and creating even more hazardous driving conditions.
The snow is expected to continue until the early afternoon, with accumulations of up to 6 inches possible. There is about 4 inches of snow on the ground in some areas of the county.
The Moore County School System has canceled school today because of the snow.
Sarah Foster, county maintenance engineer for North Carolina Department of Transportation, said that county crews were out yesterday salting the roads in preparation for today's snow. She also said that overnight crews, with 19 people on hand, starting tackling the roads once the snow started early this morning.
"We are out there with everything we've got," Foster said. "We were salting roads last night and this morning we started pushing."
She said the first priority for the department was clearing primary roads (any road that begins with U.S. or N.C.) and then would move to secondary roads.
"The forecast is calling for snow until around lunchtime," Foster said. "It's not supposed to get above freezing until tomorrow. We'll be working all night. We've had no problems, we're just dealing with Mother Nature."
Foster said the best thing was not to drive unless absolutely necessary.
"If you can stay at home," she said, "then you should stay at home."
The NCDOT Web site has a section on travel conditions. Or a motorist can call 511 to get updated information about traveling conditions.
Southern Pines public works crews have been out since 3 a.m. today working to clear snow-covered roads, according to Tim Allen, streets and sanitation superintendent for the town.
Crews first began plowing roads and then put down salt. On Monday, the town put down a brine solution on many streets to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the surface.
Allen said the town has activated its snow plan, which calls for working down a priority list of streets, starting with main arteries, to make sure they are clear for emergency vehicles. The N.C. Department of Transportation takes care of the main highways.
Allen said his crews were hitting some of the main roads Tuesday morning, such as Morganton Road, May Street, Bennett Street, Indiana and Connecticut avenues, Pinehurst Avenue and Murray Hill Road, to name just a few.
"We try to cover as many roads as we can in every part of town so folks can get from point A to point B," Allen said.
Allen said there are spots where roads iced up before the snow fell, creating hazardous conditions. He said the worst will occur tonight went the slush refreezes.
"It will be very dangerous," he said. "We will do what we can to clear the streets so people can travel safely."
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