Charlotte-area roads continue to be cleared of ice and snow in the aftermath of Winter Storm Izzy, but forecasters say more wintry weather could be on the way.
There is a 60% chance that Charlotte will see up to 2 inches of snow by Friday night, according to the National Weather Service. This means roads may be difficult to travel on again, although ice isn’t expected to be a factor this time around, the NWS said.
Officials with the N.C. Department of Transportation and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management say they are monitoring the upcoming winter weather system.
“It is too early to determine what the impacts will be, but we are in consistent contact with the National Weather Service for updates, so we can plan accordingly,” Emergency Management spokeswoman Hannah Sanborn told the Observer on Tuesday.
NCDOT will devise pretreatment and response plans if the forecast calls for them, but its focus remains on cleaning up remaining primary and secondary roads after Izzy, spokeswoman Jennifer Thompson said. Black ice could be a lingering issue Wednesday, she said.
From midnight Sunday to 11 a.m. Monday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police had 101 accidents reported with no fatalities, department spokesman Justin Davies said.
There were 117 collision investigations in Mecklenburg County over the same period, North Carolina State Highway Patrol spokesman Christopher Knox said.
“As folks head out to work or school, they should leave early, reduce their speed and increase their following distance,” Thompson said.
Getting ‘roads back open’
NCDOT keeps supplies on hand by ordering more of them so maintenance crews can restock, Thompson said. The agency can move supplies from highway divisions less affected by a storm to those facing greater impacts, if necessary, she said.
The pandemic has had an impact on NCDOT and contractor staffing levels, making response times slower than for previous weather events, according to Thompson.
The Charlotte Department of Transportation isn’t currently experiencing any supply or staffing issues, Sanborn said.
NCDOT’s snow-clearing policy prioritizes factors such as emergency routes, traffic volume and trucking/major business routes.
Interstates and four-lane divided state and federal roads are among routes given high priority, according to the policy.
If NCDOT doesn’t clear a road, it may fall on the city or be privately maintained, she said.
“We’ve been working with our contractors around the clock in rotating 12-hour shifts to get roads back open and safe for drivers,” Thompson said.