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Slushy, icy roads across most of eastern Carolina

Posted: Updated:
GREENVILLE, N.C. -

9 On Your Side is tracking dangerous conditions on icy roads throughout the region.

Department of Transportation crews were able to plow many, but not all roads Wednesday and Thursday. Low overnight temperatures caused the slush from melted or plowed snow to re-freeze.

 In Pitt County, road crews have worked nonstop on the major highways leading into and out Greenville. Most main roadways, like Greenville Boulevard, are now clear. But, DOT crews still have a long way to go.

US Highway 264, Highway 11 and Stantonsburg Road near the hospital are mostly clear. So are Allen Road, Firetower Road and Dickinson Avenue extension.
   
Despite bringing in backup from the western part of our state, DOT still has a lot of ground to cover, and secondary and rural roads are last on the priority list.
   
"We're going to work again all day until, again, it freezes up tonight," said Jeremy Stroud, NCDOT Maintenance Engineer. "We're going to be around the clock."

Greenville Public Works and NCDOT crews hit the road early Thursday morning to continue plowing and spreading more than 400 tons of salt along primary roads in Pitt County.
   
But with high demand across the southeast, a salt shortage is threatening their efforts.
NCDOT expected to get about 150 more tons of salt delivered today, and pulled from other counties to make due in the meantime.

"We're running slim," said Stroud. "We ran out this morning. We've got all the trucks full, but we ran out. We're supposed to be getting about 150 tons more today delivered. So that'll help, but we're pulling from other counties trying to make do. But yeah, we're in short supply right now of salt."

Greenville Public Works Director, Kevin Mulligan, says they're in the same situation.

"As a city, we're not really equipped to deal with this type of storm," said Mulligan.

Greenville has just three plows for the entire city, and is having to prioritize which roads are plowed.

Public Works says primary roads for the city, like Arlington, Hooker and Red Banks, were plowed first. Then roads that access the hospital, fire departments and police will be plowed. Secondary and rural roads could pose a threat into the weekend.

Much of the streets in New Bern are covered with snow. But crews made some progress Thursday morning.
Crews around the city and county worked to plow streets. At the same time, workers shoveled thick snow off the steps of city offices.
 
Since before sunrise Thursday morning, plows cleaned major roads and bridges, especially Highway 17 to Washington and Highway 70 into Morehead City.

Drivers  found primary roads clear, but warn other of the ice underneath.

"What's really amazing is how much ice there is," said Freelen Frayle, driver. "It just hasn't melt."

Craven County Emergency Services Director, Stanley Kite says they've got primary roads clear, but prefer people stay at home.

"DOT had been working really hard to get the main corridors open, which are considered part of our primary infrastructure, in order to get supplies back into the area," said Stanley Kite, Director of Emergency Services. "We still have very dangerous conditions on all the side roads, the secondary roads. A lot of municipal streets are still snow packed with ice underneath."

DOT Officials say all primary roads in Craven and Pamlico Counties are clear. Crews began plowing secondary roads Thursday afternoon. Those are the roads getting people from their homes, and into town.

Police in Jacksonville have responded to an escalating number of calls for service as drivers attempt to venture out following the recent winter storm.

JPD has additional officers on duty, strategically placed throughout the city to respond to calls for service.

Although driving conditions on some of the main arteries have improved, secondary streets are still hazardous.

Drivers should be aware of water and slush refreezing on roadways.

"We are asking people to stay off the roads this evening unless it is absolutely necessary" said Chief Mike Yaniero, Director of Public Safety.

Hazardous road conditions will continue into Friday morning.

In Carteret County, DOT crews were back to work.  According to field reports into the Emergency Operations Center, road conditions are worse than they were Wednesday.  Indian Beach roads were icy.  Officials urge all vehicles to use caution or they will find themselves in the ditches.

Closing & Delays information is available HERE.

TONIGHT: Temperatures are expected to plunge to the middle to upper 20s overnight with light northerly winds and a cold snow pack on the ground.  Watch for freezing pipes.  Make sure pets have a warm place to stay with unfrozen water.  Roadways will likely be a little slick as black ice is likely.  A gradual warming trend, however,  will allow for thawing and melting of snow and ice as we head into the weekend.

STORM TEAM 9 FORECAST DETAILS: For the latest forecast from Storm Team 9, CLICK HERE.

As always, you can stay up-to-date on the changing weather here in the east by staying connected to Storm Team 9 on air, on-line and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Storm Team 9 also has a brand new smartphone application that can be downloaded for both iPhone and Android devices in their respective stores for free. You can see Live VIPIR 9, our video forecasts and our blog posts. This application also uses your phone's GPS signal to send you warning information. If you are in a warning, the app will let you know, if you aren't then it doesn't. Great new stuff to keep you informed from WNCT and Storm Team 9!

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