03/13/18 — Snow sweeps through Wayne

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Snow sweeps through Wayne

By Steve Herring
Published in News on March 13, 2018 9:34 AM

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Snow accumulates near Memorial Commons off Wayne Memorial Drive, just before 7 p.m. Monday.

Wayne County and much of central North Carolina north of a line from Lexington to Lillington to Goldsboro are under a winter weather advisory for black ice until 10 a.m. today.

Wayne County Public Schools are closed today, and Wayne Community College's opening was delayed until 10 a.m.

Numerous wrecks -- mostly vehicles sliding off the road -- were reported across the county last night into early this morning.

No major injuries have been reported.

For the most part Wayne County received a dusting of snow -- a few tenths of an inch -- up to 1.1 inches that was recorded in the Elroy community, according to the National Weather Service.

Monday's storm was mostly a snow event. The ice was more of residual effect after moisture froze overnight, according to the weather service.

With temperatures close to the freezing mark this morning, residual water and melted snow on roads may re-freeze into icy patches, especially on bridges and overpasses.

Slick, icy spots on bridges and overpasses are likely through mid-morning and motorists are urged to use extra caution.

Reduce your speed, and avoid sudden braking and accelerating, especially on bridges and overpasses.

The mixture of snow and ice seemed to come in all at once starting just before 5 p.m.

There was little that state Department of Transportation crews could to do to prep the roads prior to the storm, said Luther Thompson, DOT maintenance supervisor for the county.

Crews normally treat the roads with a brine solution, but the amount of rain that fell before the start of the snow would have washed the brine away,  Thompson said.

Instead crews began treating roads with salt.

Thompson said he had just gotten home late last night when crews were called out around 2 a.m. to begin treating bridges and overpasses with salt.

It was almost as if all of the bridges froze over at one time, especially in northern Wayne County -- particularly on Interstate 795 and the U.S. 70 Bypass, he said.

Thompson estimates crews have dumped about 90 tons of salt on county roads since late Monday.

The salt will turn the ice into a slushy mix and plows will be used to remove the slush, Thompson said.

Today will be sunny with a high near 49 degrees which should also help with the melting.

"I am ready for summer. I hope this is the last one," an exhausted Thompson said.