NC Highway Patrol reports ‘significant increase’ in accidents due to slippery road conditions

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) – Roads in central and eastern North Carolina are expected to remain slippery through Sunday morning.

Temperatures will drop Saturday evening and will likely refreeze the snow that melted overnight Saturday.

The winter storm that rolled through Friday night and Saturday morning moved away, but it left freezing temperatures and slippery conditions in its wake.

Christopher Knox of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said he didn’t have official crash numbers, but expected to see a “significant increase” from the typical overnight report.

He said the worst places were bridges and overpasses, especially further east and south where the falling precipitation was more of a winter mix than pure snow.

Knox said the good news was that it could have been worse. Since the system settled down on Friday evening, instead of spending busy commute time, fewer people were on the roads anyway.

He went on to advise people to stay home on Saturday. He said anyone who has to travel should give themselves more time, so they can go slow and give other drivers plenty of space.

The NCDOT also asked people to stay off the roads and be patient as it will take time for state transportation crews and Mother Nature to clear the roads of snow and ice.

“People should not attempt to drive in these conditions,” said Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette. “Our crews are working around the clock to treat and clear the roads as quickly as possible and we need everyone to do their part and stay off the roads.”

Some highways, major roads and many secondary roads are covered in snow and ice and are dangerous for travel from the Triangle to the coast as well as parts of the Triad and Charlotte area.

NCDOT crews are working to clear major dual carriageways and highways, then plan to start clearing secondary roads through the weekend through Monday.

“Anyone in the path of this storm should stay home,” said Beau Memory, chief operating officer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. “Temperatures aren’t going to go much above freezing on Saturday, and any thaw that does occur will refreeze overnight.”

Freezing temperatures will leave many roads and bridges icy on Saturday. Water on the roads will freeze overnight and turn to ice.

Several coastal ferry routes in the state have been temporarily suspended due to high winds and icy road conditions.

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