01/29/14 — Plows try to keep up with snow, but wrecks, other problems continue

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Plows try to keep up with snow, but wrecks, other problems continue

By From staff reports
Published in News on January 29, 2014 1:46 PM

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A Goldsboro Public Works snowplow pushes away freshly fallen powder early this morning.

Goldsboro Public Works employees began plowing at 4 a.m. today to push back the sleet and snow coating the roads since Tuesday evening.

"It's going pretty good," Public Works Director Jose Martinez said. "We got all of our arterials and are recollecting to go back out now."

Now that most of the city streets in the interior sections of Goldsboro are complete work will move to the exterior residential areas of the city, Martinez said.

While many streets in the city were still not clear early this morning, many were North Carolina Department of Transportation-maintained streets, which NCDOT clears, Martinez said.

Center Street and many residential streets in Goldsboro fall under city maintenance, while Ash Street, Berkeley Boulevard and Royall and Spence avenues fall under NCDOT.

By the end of the day Martinez hopes to have all of the streets plowed but warns that they will still be icy.

Martinez still advises only getting out if necessary over the next two days.

Only five vehicle accidents were reported within the city of Goldsboro during Tuesday's severe weather and the city Fire Department responded to just one medical call, officials said.

The Salvation Army opened its shelter on William Street Tuesday night but had no one come.

"The game plan again tonight is to open up at 6 p.m.," said Lt. Kenny Iglehart.

Across Wayne County, however, things were busier, at least for lawmen.

Several cars in ditches and stranded motorists calls came through the Wayne County Communications and Raleigh dispatch centers, officials said, although the state Highway Patrol only filed three actual wreck reports.

"The reason for the low number is thankfully the media and weather services talked about the severe weather well enough in advance," 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon said today.

"Folks stayed home," he said.

Gordon said since midnight there had only been three motor vehicle accidents reported with property damage.

Meanwhile, the work of cleaning roads went on across the county.

"U.S. 117 looks like everything else in the county right now," said Luther Thompson, DOT county maintenance supervisor. "I think if it had been snow it would have been easy to work with. The sleet hasn't helped. The flurry snow on top we are pushing off and then the layer of ice beneath it we will try to break up."

NCDOT workers focus on the busiest thoroughfares first and then work their way down to the less busy streets.

"We are using both salt and brine on the highways. We are focusing on getting the four-lanes open today -- U.S. 117, I-795, U.S. 70, N.C. 44 (the uncompleted U.S. 70 Goldsboro Bypass)," Thompson said.

He said he is hoping the sun will help their efforts as well.

While the focus is on the four-lane highways some roads crews are working on N.C. 111 and other state routes, Thompson said.

As those roads are cleared, the crews will move on other primary roads and then secondary roads. It is a job that Thompson thinks could continue into Saturday.

"We are asking folks to be patient with us," he said. "We are working around the clock. I hope by Friday that most (roads) will be passable."