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Icy Road Concerns

Crews throughout the mountains continue clearing roads of snow and ice, many remain slippery with these frigid overnight temperatures.

In Haywood County the DOT hit the big roads first, now the secondary roads are the target, and the smaller jobs are up to local citizens.

Sam Oxendine has been working away to get his workplace open again, "clearing the roads so that our office can and our counselors can see folks."

He knows to take advantage of the mid-day sun, "if you let it sit it becomes a sheet of ice and then you've got more of a problem even if it does warm up."

As for the bigger jobs, the DOT says primary roads like the Smoky Mountain Expressway are in good shape.  It's different story for secondary roads, many of them remain snow and ice covered.

Art Hartzog, NCDOT, "we're working around the clock doing everything we can to get those clear so schools and normal routines can start back up."

When temperatures get this low the dot says it's difficult for salt to actually do its job.

Art Hartzog says trucks and even graders are out to scrape off and break up ice, but nature may have the most power, "relying a lot on the sun during the day to help dissipate some of that."

Bill Nolte, Haywood County Schools, "even in areas where we've treated with salt and sand and where we've scraped we're not getting a lot of melt if its in the shade."

Associate superintendent Bill Nolte says without a lot of money in its budget for snow removal, the school district relies on maintenance staff, "and they really try to focus on entrance ways, things like sidewalks, steps. We have some equipment that we try to use in parking lots and our townships are very helpful in some situations."

Haywood County's DOT maintenance yard says so far it has enough sand and salt but if it has to, it can get more from other counties in North Carolina.


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