Snowy roads could cause problems

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Road conditions could be hazardous Friday morning after winter precipitation moved into Wilson Thursday afternoon and overnight. At press time Thursday, Wilson was expected to get several inches of snow. Combined with the drop in temperature as well as icing on roads and bridges, drivers are urged to remain cautious.

Friday’s high will near 37 degrees with wind chill values as low as 16 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Raleigh. Friday night’s temperatures will also dip to 22 degrees.

City crews were working early Thursday in anticipation of the storm including loading salt brine tanks and salt spreaders onto trucks. Crews also attached steel snow plows.

“My priority is to make sure these roads are safe for the citizens of Wilson and the motoring public,” said Tim Eaton, the city of Wilson’s street division manager. City crews will tackle bridges and main roads first and then move to secondary roads. Main roadways include Ward Boulevard, Tarboro and Goldsboro streets, as well as Forest Hills Road and Nash Street.

Eaton said it’s vital to focus on higher traffic areas so emergency service personnel can get through if necessary.

Close to 1,000 N.C. Department of Transportation workers spent Wednesday prepping their equipment and loading up supplies, too. Work schedules were adjusted in anticipation of the snow as crews worked into the night and into Friday morning to clear roads, according to state officials.

Officials are also encouraging drivers to be prepared and safe while on the roads.

“With the threat of severe winter weather throughout the Carolinas, we want to remind everyone to practice safety and be diligent behind the wheel,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson.

Officials say stay home if you don’t have to go out. If you do get out, drive slowly due to less traction when traveling on snow or ice.

Here are some other tips from AAA Carolinas:

• Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to retain traction and avoid skids. Don’t take off in a hurry and take time to slow down for stoplights.

• It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.

• Increase your following distance. Allow five to six seconds of following distance between your vehicle and the one in front you. The extra space will give you time to stop safely if the other driver suddenly brakes.

• Whether you have anti-lock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to smoothly apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal. Do not pump the brakes.

• Don’t stop if you can avoid it. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.