Local, state officials prepping for approaching winter storm

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Officials from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) have started preparing for a winter storm that forecasts predict will hit the Charlotte area on Tuesday.

There are multiple models for the system which call for snow, rain and ice across North and South Carolina.

On Sunday afternoon, state trucks began to treat Interstates 77, 85, 485, and 277 in Mecklenburg County with a brine solution according to officials.

The department treated I-85 in Cabarrus County as well.

CDOT officials say they began treating Charlotte city streets, bridges and culverts with salt brine on Monday and plan to continue Monday night.

On Tuesday morning, Charlotte crews will start treating major and minor thoroughfares and hospital entrances, while providing assistance to police and treating emergencies that are called in.

As the roads are being treated, Charlotte Mecklenburg school (CMS) officials spent Monday deciding how they should handle Tuesday's classes. They are consulting first with city and county crews before deciding if classes should dismiss early on Tuesday.

CMS Board chairperson Mary McCray says is all for making a decision sooner rather than later.

"Letting parents know before 5 in the morning that school is going to be closed," McCray said. "Because we are finding out that a lot of our parents are on their way to work at 5 AM".

Black ice on streets and sidewalks may form quickly, CDOT officials warn, saying motorists and pedestrians should be extra cautious and drive slower.

NCDOT offers the following safety tips for driving in winter weather: 

  • Clear windows and mirrors
  • Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles
  • Approach bridges and overpasses them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge unless necessary
  • If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car
  • Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection in case any vehicles coming from other directions lose control of their vehicles while trying to stop
  • If you have a cellular phone, take it with you. You can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling *HP (*47) or call law enforcement by dialing 911. But please don't call 911 to check on road conditions. That line must be kept open for emergencies.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter.

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