Hazardous black ice on the way

Feb. 13, 2014 @ 06:14 PM

Though the worst of the storm seems to have passed, the National Weather Service said icy conditions and the threat of another dusting of snow could continue to wreak havoc on travel conditions.

Meteorologist Nick Petro said motorists should avoid driving if they can.

“We’re not out of the woods yet with regards to travel hazards,” he said Thursday afternoon. “There are plenty of untreated secondary roads, and those are still hazardous. When that snow melt occurs, look for puddling of water on roads, but then it gets below freezing and that turns to black ice.”

The Tri-County area got around 6 inches of snow and a few tenths of an inch of ice, too, a combination that made for treacherous driving conditions across the state.

But a weak weather disturbance Friday is likely to bring a bit more snow and ice; coupled with warming temperatures into the weekend could continue to make the roads slick as snow and ice melt and then re-freeze overnight.

While main roads had been plowed and were fairly accessible in Henderson on Thursday, secondary streets — if they had been cleared at all — only had a center swath cut through them, instead of being plowed from curb to curb. City of Henderson crews were drawing praise.

State Department of Transportation crews have worked around the clock to clear ice and snow from the roadways. As of Thursday, the eastern part of the state was warming up, so NCDOT workers moved westward to Central North Carolina to aid those plowing roads.

While most of the interstates are relatively clear, ramps are still slushy. Transportation crews will either continue clearing primary and secondary roads or, if a second wave of ice and snow comes through, will repeat clearing efforts on the highways. There are scattered reports of downed trees and power lines through the central part of the state.

Contact the writer at vshortley@hendersondispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter at @herding_stets.