UPDATE 2:20p.m.:NorthCarolina Governor Pat McCrory declared a State of Emergency throughout the state ahead of the winter storm.
Executed under the Emergency Management Act, the State of Emergency declaration enables the governor to mobilize the necessary resources to respond to a storm. It also is the first step in seeking federal funds to help defray the cost of providing emergency services, clearing debris and repairing any damaged public infrastructure.
'Given the forecast and as winter weather approaches, we are working with all necessary departments and local emergency management crews in order to keep our citizens safe and up to date regarding potentially hazardous weather conditions,' said Governor McCrory. 'This morning, I signed two executive orders declaring a state of emergency for North Carolina and waiving certain requirements for vehicles assisting in relief efforts. We are prepared for likely power outages and dangerous driving conditions throughout our state. These executive orders and our capable statewide and local officials will ensure a rapid response to any adverse conditions.'
N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance crews are ready as winter weather begins to arrive in the 14 counties making up NCDOT's Division One in northeastern North Carolina.
Maintenance crews in Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties spread salt brine on all N.C. and U.S. routes throughout the region yesterday, as well as on major secondary roads. Salt brine is a mix of salt and water used to prevent ice from forming and adhering to road surfaces. By putting down the brine in advance, the salt has had more time to adhere to the pavement before any precipitation begins, providing better protection from snow and ice.
Crews are ready in all 14 counties to plow roads and spread salt and sand where necessary. Precipitation has already begun falling in areas closer to Hyde and Dare counties. Because the winter weather is forecasted to begin this afternoon and continue overnight through tomorrow, crews will work in shifts around the clock to clear roads and make sure that they are safe for motorists.
In addition to crews already in Division One, additional trucks and crews are mobilizing to the region from areas in the western part of the state where they are not forecasted to have as significant accumulation.
NCDOT has produced several videos explaining how maintenance crews prepare for winter weather months in advance, how they determine when to use salt and sand, and how they decide which roads to clear first. These videos and many others are available on the NCDOT YouTube page.
NCDOT offers the following safety tips for driving in winter weather:
Clear windows and mirrors;
Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles;
Approach bridges and overpasses with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge unless necessary;
If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car;
Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection in case any vehicles coming from other directions lose control of their vehicles while trying to stop;
If you have a cellular phone, take it with you. You can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling *HP (*47) or call law enforcement in the event of an emergency by dialing 911; and
Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type 'm.ncdot.gov' into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.
You can also get emergency information from the N.C. Department of Public Safety at http://readync.org, and download the ReadyNC app to help you prepare for everything from road conditions to severe storms on a daily basis. It is available for free in the AppStore for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Snow, sleet and freezing rain are expected across much of North Carolina.
The frozen precipitation was expected to begin Tuesday morning and continue into Wednesday.
A winter storm warning was in effect in central and eastern North Carolina.
In Elizabeth City late Tuesday morning, it was cold, windy and overcast. Workers were expecting to show up at noon to begin working 12-hour shifts once the show starts falling.
At the NDCOT yard, workers mixed 10,000 gallons of brine Monday that would be ready to get on the road.
Up to 5 inches of snow was expected in the central part of the state. Up to a foot of snow was possible around Elizabeth City, with up to 10 inches expected in the Greenville area, as well as the northern Outer Banks. From 4 to 8 inches is possible in other parts of eastern North Carolina.
Only 1 to 3 inches of snow was expected in most of the mountains in the western part of the state.
In Dare County, officials were asking residents to stay home and avoid driving once the snow begins. Although the snow and sleet are expected to end early Wednesday, roadways will remain hazardous through Friday morning, they warned.
Utility companies were waiting to respond to outages.
Many of the ferry routes were cancelled or delays because of the stormy weather.
Use customer service numbers to report power outages.
Dominion Power: 1-866-366-4357
Cape Hatteras: 1-866-511-9862