NCDOT prepares for winter storm weather - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

NCDOT prepares for winter storm weather

ROBESON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Robeson County is preparing for the icy wet weather. The North Carolina Department of Transportation crews are preparing to keep the roads safe.

NCDOT crews started getting ready on Wednesday and brined the roads. They are on standby throughout Thursday night waiting for the first sign of precipitation to get out there to salt and sand the roads.  More than twenty employees will work through the night and another crew will take over for Friday.

Maintenance Engineer for Robeson County, Eugene McKethan says their main goal is to prepare in advance of the storm. All the snow plow trucks are regulated to make sure the proper amount of salt is put on the roads.

“At the onset of precipitation that moisture releases the salt from the pores of the asphalt and that keeps the precipitation and ice from bonding to the pavement structure," says McKethan.

McKethan remembers the ice storm from two years ago and says the roads are the first safety hazard. With possible power outages he wants people to have emergency supplies at home. Lumberton resident, Stephen McIntyre lost power during last year’s icy weather. Now he knows how to prepare better.

McIntyre says, “There were power trucks everywhere, ice everywhere it was a significant winter storm that had come through, so we really had to rely on our neighbors for heat. This time around, I’m making sure we have an alternate heat source, our neighbors are safe and warm, and we’re making sure we have all the groceries the milk and bread and everything else we need.”

DOT crews and emergency management will continue to prepare for what may come to keep you and the roads safe.  

“When the temperatures drop below freezing and we start identifying some icing, then they will call back into the yard and the employees will load with salt and go on their assigned routes. They will stay on there assigned routes until the precipitation ends and the roads are clear," says McKethan.

McKethan and Emergency Management encourages everyone to stay off the roads especially into Friday morning. That’s when they expect the roads to be the worst.

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