With temperatures remaining below freezing, state and town officials are encouraging residents to stay off the roads, and black ice will be a risk for the next two days, according to officials.
Knightdale public works crews spread sand and screenings since 3 a.m. on town-maintained streets, and began clearing as soon as rain let up, said town spokesman Brian Bowman.
“Conditions are so cold that we don’t expect much melting soon,” said Fred Boone, public works director and town engineer. “As Governor McCrory said, this is not your typical North Carolina snow event. We encourage everyone to stay at home if they have a choice.”
Town hall and Waste Industries will remain closed.
Black ice will remain a threat through the next two days, officials say.
In Wendell, many roads and streets remain covered in ice, though town work crews have focused on main arteries such as Wendell Boulevard.
The winter weather has slowed commerce, with a number of businesses shutting their doors.
One business, though, did brave the elements.
Aubrey’s and Peedie’s Grill on Main Street opened about an hour and a half late, but owner Peedie Edwards said the traffic hasn’t fallen off too much.
“We were the only restaurant in town open for a little while,” Edwards said. “We had people come in and say ‘Alright, you’re open. McDonald’s was closed. Bojangles was closed,’” Edwards said.
Zebulon Public Works began applying brine to town and N.C. Department of Transportation streets about 7:30 a.m. Monday and finished brining about 5:30 p.m. Crews turned their focus to area bridges about 7 p.m. Monday and transitioned over to plows and salt spreaders as they started the day Tuesday about 5:30 a.m.
“We’ve been plowing and spreading ever since,” said Zebulon Public Works Director Chris Ray. “We had to put salt down because of the temperatures, to help release the bond of the ice. This afternoon as of about lunch, Mother Nature has been helping us.”
Zebulon’s main corridors had been cleared by 3 p.m. Tuesday. Ray and his team were tending to residential corridors at that time, and planned to continue that work for as long as weather allowed. They also worked to keep town facilities clear.
“We’ve still got some residential streets that haven’t be plowed,” Ray said. “Because of the temperatures tonight, I’m sure a little water on the road will become black ice and we’ll have to salt those in the morning.”
Ray said it appeared folks were more wary of the icy conditions – that less people attempted to drive on the slick roadways.
“That’s been a good thing,” he said. “We’ve had the roads pretty much to ourselves this morning and that’s been good to help us be a lot more effective.”
Wake County received between a quarter-inch and an inch of precipitation, according to the National Weather Service, and Wake school systems announced that they would be closed Tuesday.
“Travel likely will be very hazardous tomorrow,” said Gov. Pat McCrory at a briefing at the state’s emergency operations headquarters.
There may lead to a black-ice advisory for Wednesday morning, forecasters said.