The cold snap that is gripping the East Coast could bring snow to Richmond County today.
Winter weather is expected to hit Richmond County and surrounding areas this afternoon and continue into early this evening, according to a winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service.
The high temperature for Friday is projected to be 34 degrees, a few degrees above freezing. The low temperature on Friday is expected to be about 29 degrees.
Rain and snow will likely come between noon and 3 p.m., and an “accumulation of snow will be possible before transitioning to sleet and freezing rain. Ice accumulations up to a tenth of an inch will also be possible,” the weather service reported.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has already prepared the roads for the winter weather.
NCDOT maintenance crews have sprayed roadways in Richmond County with a salt-water mixture called brine. Brine is a cost-effective way that helps prevent snow and ice from sticking to the pavement.
All over North Carolina, “more than 1,900 trucks are equipped with snow plows and graders in addition to 325 front-end loaders and backhoes and 450 motor graders. NCDOT has 146,500 tons of salt on hand. A typical statewide frozen precipitation event requires 40,000 tons of salt,” said a statement by NCDOT.
Miriam Haire, Administrative Assistant for the City of Rockingham Public Works, and Hamlet City Manager Marchell Adams-David, said that both Rockingham and Hamlet are getting the winter road equipment ready in case the weather gets worse than projected.
The AAA website provides tips for winter driving and preparing vehicles for winter weather, and how to assemble a winter driving kit.
Preparing vehicles for winter driving should include making sure the car battery is fully charged, making sure all vehicle lights are fully functional, making sure the brakes are working properly and making sure the tires are properly pressurized and have good tread on them. AAA warns against wiping away snow or ice with windshield wipers because it will damage the wiper blades “and reduce their effectiveness in rainy conditions.”
Some driving techniques that AAA recommends are to travel at a slower speed, keep the car in a lower gear to increase the vehicle’s traction, do not use cruise control on slick roads, and compensate for longer stopping distances on slick surfaces by looking 20 to 30 seconds ahead.
In case winter weather does cause problems, it is advised to carry a winter driving kit for emergencies. The kit should include a bag of abrasive material, a small shovel, traction mats, a flashlight, window-washing solvent, gloves, an ice scraper, cloth or paper towels, jumper cables, a blanket, reflective triangles, a cell phone and a car charger.
Molly Bizzell, manager of the AAA in Southern Pines, said that AAA service is also hampered by hazardous weather and its “emergency road service may be limited to circumstances where someone is in imminent danger or a dire situation.”
AAA Carolinas is an an affiliate of the American Automobile Association.
Power companies are also preparing for power outages due to the winter weather.
According to a statement released last week by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, they are ready to restore power as quickly as possible should the winter storm cause an outage.
Members of electric cooperatives are asked to call directly if they experience an outage. Visit www.ncelectriccooperatives.com for a complete list of phone numbers to report an outage, and a list of counties served by each co-op.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.