The winter weather that hit Richmond County Friday afternoon caused a few problems for residents. Although there were no major accidents due to the icy weather, there were a few fender benders and ice related incidents.
Steve Abbott, Communications Officer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, said that pre-treating the roads “definitely helped. That’s the gold standard now.” Abbott said that pre-treating the roads with brine helped decrease the number of major accidents that could have occurred.
Brine is a salt and water solution that keeps ice from bonding to the road. This year, the NCDOT purchased an additional 100,000 gallons of brine to increase the storage capacity to 450,000 gallons to combat winter weather, according to the NCDOT.
Abbott said that the brine prevents ice and snow from sticking to the roads which helps plow trucks, if they need to be deployed, and also keeps drivers safe.
Both Cathy Page, director of customer service for Pee Dee Electric Company, and Lisa Tutor, company spokesperson for Duke Energy, said that there were no storm related power outages. “That day was a good day for us,” Page said of Friday.
Rockingham Police Chief Billy Kelly said that there were three accidents caused by the winter weather although there were no personal injuries related to those accidents.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol reported 13 accidents on Friday, although only three were due to drivers “exceeding safe speed for icy conditions,” the reports said.
Judi Dennis, dispatcher for the Hamlet Police Department, said they had no weather related accidents there.
Local towing companies reported having little work on Friday. Eddie Caulder Jr., manager of Arlo’s Wrecker Service in Hamlet, said they had very few cars that needing towing because of the weather. They towed two cars because of an accident due to the weather.
Joe Braddock, owner of Joe’s Towing and Roadside Service in Rockingham, said they had five calls due to weather. Two of those calls were because of accidents related to the weather and three were because of cars sliding in ditches, Braddock said.
The local hospitals saw a few injuries from the icy conditions. “We did get two falls from the ice … ,” said Kim Harrington, director of Marketing, Public Relations and Volunteer Services for the Sandhills Regional Medical Center.
Emily Sloan, assistant director of public relations for FirstHealth of the Carolinas, said the emergency room “saw a slight increase in the number of patients with injuries from falls because of the ice.”
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.