Over 13,000 tons of salt and salt/sand mix used to clear mountain roadways
After several inches of snow was dumped across the mountains on Friday, Monday’s sunshine worked to dry major interstates and highways. It gave the state’s Department of Transportation a chance to turn its attention to the secondary roads that lead to many mountain neighborhoods.
In the past week, it’s taken DOT crews 2,000 tons of salt and another thousand tons of salt and sand mixture -- just in Buncombe County -- to dry out and de-ice roadways. On Monday, DOT spokesman David Uchiyama told News 13 they'll be ready for the next round.
DOT graders continue to work on secondary roads, including Bee Tree Road in Swannanoa.
“I've been cooped up for three or four days,” Lisa McClelland, of Etowah, said.
McClelland, her daughter Emilie, and granddaughter Layla were headed for the Western North Carolina Nature Center.
“I told a friend, ‘I wish the snow would melt before I gain 20 pounds.’ There wasn't anything else to do but eat,” said McClelland, who said her driveway was so full of snow they were trapped.
“My driveway is still covered with snow, but it was already melting. I thought, I was fairly confident I could get down my driveway. I'm not real confident I'll get back up,” McClelland said.
Both she and her daughter, who lives in Buncombe County, have felt cut off from the outside world since Friday.
“No internet or anything like that, and that's a real pain,” daughter Emilie McClelland said.
On Monday, Charter said a number of Spectrum customers were without service during the snow storm, but expected to restore services to the majority of affected customers by the end of the day.
It was the same for Kevin Hall and his rat terrier, Max. It was a jackknifed tractor-trailer on Friday that started the problems along Warren Wilson Road.
“That locked up the traffic pretty good, then there were a few wires down on the road, and then they had to come up and put up a barrier,” Hall said.
Warren Wilson Road, the main route into the neighborhood, had been closed, and at times restricted to a single lane on Friday. As road crews made another pass Monday morning, Charter removed their lines from the roadway.
“For having them to come out and do as good of a job as they did, and that's a tough job, so I think they did a good job,” Hall said.
By mid-day on Monday, the NCDOT was finishing up treatment and plowing secondary roads. One-hundred and fifty-four trucks and 11 graders worked throughout Division 13 (Buncombe, Burke, Madison, Mitchell, and Yancey counties) this past weekend. Division 14, the remaining mountain counties (including Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Polk, Swain, and Transylvania counties) had just slightly fewer trucks at 84 and just as much salt at more than 4,600 tons.
“I think they did an excellent job. I'm pleased,” McClelland said.
It wasn’t just NCDOT crews pressed into service. In Division 13, 10 contract trucks were brought in to clear roadways and another 25 contract crews plowed highways in Division 14, giving the DOT a hand.
Statewide, more 19,895 tons of salt and 6,560 tons of salt/sand mix were used to treat roadways during the past weekend’s snow storm.