NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Despite the 70 degree temperatures, the North Carolina Department of Transporation is looking ahead to the winter months.
Tuesday is Winter Weather Prep day in New Hanover County. NCDOT crews spent the morning testing equipment, reviewing procedures, and preparing for what could lie ahead as we move into the winter months.
There are over 3,200 employees and hundreds of trucks that can be used across the state when, and if, bad weather makes it’s way to North Carolina. Crews stock up on salt and sand, review snow removal routes and clean before the cold months get here because once they’re here, we never know when we could see snow or ice.
“The salt is what they see initially, but at the same time we’re also planning crews for possibly transfer from one place to the other," said Gerard Taylor, the Assistant Division Maintenance Engineer for NCDOT "Also checking salt inventories to make sure we have ample amount of salt, brine, fuel and personnel scheduling to get that shift to where we start getting into a 24-hour operation.”
A big part of preparing is calibrating the salt spreader.
“The salt spreader itself applies that salt onto the road at a certain rate," said Taylor. "If you’re putting out too much, you’re wasting money. If you’re not putting out enough, you’re not having the accomplishment in what you want to keep that adherence to the pavement.”
While NCDOT prepares for the winter months, there are some things you can do as a resident to help them out in the case of snow or ice:
“Stay at home,” said Taylor. “It helps us out. There’s less traffic on the road; less distractions. Have fun with your family, but the key thing, as far as any truck on the highway, remember: that operator of that truck is trying to watch a plow, trying to drive the truck and keep it in a lane they can’t see, and keep an eye on the salt spreader itself.”
Winter Weather Prep Day is held every year in every county during the fall to prepare for winter. For more information on what NCDOT does to prepare the roads for winter, visit their website.