CHINA GROVE, NC (WBTV) - Several crashes have caused Interstate 85 to shut down in both directions in Rowan County Wednesday morning.
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, I-85 is closed in both directions near Exit 68 in China Grove. Officials said the interstate is expected to reopen by noon.
Drivers heading south on I-85 must take Exit 68 for US-29 south, NCDOT officials said. Drivers can then continue to head south on US-29 towards NC-152. Drivers will then be able to take the NC-152 exit and turn left to get back onto I-85 south.
If you're driving on I-85 north, you will need to take Exit 68 for NC-152 west. Drivers can then continue to head west on NC-152 towards US-29 north. To reaccess I-85 north, drivers will need to turn right for US-29 and continue driving north to US-601. You will then by able to continue driving south on US-601 to get back onto I-85 north.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police tweeted that they have responded to 57 wrecks as of 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Winter Storm Warnings continue through 6 p.m. Wednesday for the all of the WBTV viewing area outside of the mountains. In the immediate Charlotte area, 2" - 4" inches of snow (on non-road surfaces) is expected. The mountains may actually see a little less than the foothills, likely in the 2"- 4" inch range, while neighborhoods along and north and east of the Yadkin and Pee Dee River in the Sandhills will likely fall into the 4" to 8" inch range.
By late afternoon, we will gradually dry out from west to east and perhaps even see some sun across the foothills, but that may be wishful thinking. The problem is that highs will struggle all day as we hover right around the freezing mark. With even just a little sun, there should be some melting and then refreezing when the sun goes down and temperatures fall quickly through the evening. That would mean black ice could be an issue Wednesday night and Thursday morning as we bottom out in the teens.
As such, another First Alert Day has been declared for Thursday, but only for morning ice issues.