RALEIGH, N.C. -- Governor Pat McCrory says the state is preparing for the fourth winter storm this season.
The State Emergency Response Team (SERT) says they are preparing for a wintry mix of snow, sleet and ice that is expected to impact central and eastern North Carolina during the next 24 hours.
Officials say the probability of black ice on the roads for Tuesday morning commutes is of high concern.
State and local emergency management officials say they have been working with the National Weather Service and are monitoring conditions, while state transportation crews are on standby to treat roads as needed.
For drivers who encounter slick road conditions, officials have offered the following safety tips:
· Reduce your speed. Driving at the regular speed limit will reduce your ability to control the car if you begin to slide.
· Leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.
· Bridges and overpass accumulate ice first. Approach them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on the bridge.
· If you do begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car.
However, Monday's winter weather event is challenging for road crews. Mills said salt will not stick without some accumulation on the roads so they didn't want to put down salt too early.
They also could not use brine because the event started with rain which would have washed away all the brine on the roads. Plus, brine wasn't as necessary given the warm temperatures on Sunday, the ground was already on the warmer side.
"It's easier with the snow than the ice. Ice is difficult to treat because number one, we can't put out salt because it bounces off the road. Our only option is really try and do a sand, salt combination mixture," said Mike Mills.
Mills said his crews are prepared to use the snow and sand mixture on trouble spots like overpasses, bridges, and dangerous intersections. The sand will help add friction for traffic and keep some of the salt in place.
Another hurdle for NCDOT will be the Tuesday morning commute. Mike Mills said salt becomes ineffective when temperature drop around 18 degrees.
"Tomorrow morning is going to be bad. It's going to be low temperatures tonight. Anything that's melted or wet right now will probably freeze tonight. There will be some black ice tomorrow. We got to be careful," said Mills.