The forecast includes snow in Robeson County


LUMBERTON — Roads across Robeson County were salted and grocery store shelves cleared Friday in preparation for dangerous freezing rain expected to hit Saturday night through Sunday afternoon.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning at 3:06 p.m. Friday, which will remain in effect until 1 p.m. Sunday

Meteorologists say small accumulations of freezing rain and ice accumulation ranging from a tenth of an inch to a quarter of an inch are possible. According to the National Weather Service, the best chance for ice accumulation is west of Interstate-95.

“Small accumulations of freezing rain are possible on elevated surfaces such as bridges and flyovers, which could create hazardous travel conditions,” the National Weather Service said.

Maintenance crews and contractors from the NC Department of Transportation applied 13,000 gallons of brine over Robeson County roads Thursday and completed the brine Friday before the storm.

Brine, an inexpensive mixture of salt and water, lowers the freezing temperature on pavement and helps prevent roads from icing up.

NCDOT officials urged motorists to stock up on groceries or other supplies they might need, as traveling during the storm could be dangerous.

“Our crews and contractors are doing everything we can to prepare for this storm, and we are asking North Carolina residents to prepare as well,” said J. Eric Boyette, Secretary of State for Transportation. “Please plan ahead as this storm could affect travel across the state.”

Other crews are preparing chainsaws and other tools to clear any fallen trees.

After pre-treating the roads, crews rest and then swap saltwater equipment for plow equipment to clear the roads of snow and ice for post-storm response.

“After the storm hits, please stay home and stay off the streets,” NCDOT Chief Operating Officer Beau Memory said. “NCDOT and contractor crews will do their best to clear the streets as quickly as possible, but we ask everyone to play safe and be patient.”

Similar to many industries across the country, NCDOT employees and their contract crews are being affected by labor shortages and response times will likely not be as quick as in the past.

NCDOT and the State Highway Patrol plan Saturday through Monday to tow abandoned or disabled vehicles that could pose a risk to emergency responders and highway crews.

PREPARATION

The Red Cross is urging residents to stay safe and warm by following basic safety and travel tips.

“The best way to stay safe during winter weather is to prepare your home, family and pets before temperatures drop and snow and ice fall,” said Barry Porter, regional CEO of the American Red Cross East North Carolina. “The Red Cross encourages families to be mindful when heating their homes with space heaters, dress in layers before going outside, and bring pets inside.”

HEAT YOUR HOME SAFELY

Heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces, or wood and coal stoves can pose a fire hazard, and deadly fires peak in the early hours of the morning when most people are asleep. Since December 1, Red Cross volunteers in eastern North Carolina have responded to 159 home fires and assisted 433 people who lost their homes to fires. That’s an average of almost four families every night in 53 counties.

Home heaters are the second leading cause of fires in the United States. To reduce the risk of heater-related fires, the Red Cross recommends the following steps (read more about fire safety in homes here):

All heaters need space. Keep children, pets, and things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, rugs, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating appliances.

If you must use a space heater, place it on a flat, hard, non-combustible surface (e.g. ceramic tile floor) away from area rugs, rugs, or near bedding or curtains. Plug power cords directly into outlets – never into an extension cord.

Never leave a chimney fire unattended and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep the fire and embers in the chimney.

Never use a stove, oven, charcoal or gas grill to heat your home.

Turn off portable heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.

STAY SAFE OUTSIDE

If you must get outside, protect yourself from the dangers of a winter storm:

Wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat. Outerwear should be tightly woven and water-repellent. Mittens or gloves and a hat prevent loss of body heat.

Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from severely cold air. Avoid deep breaths; minimize speeches.

Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.

Stay dry. Change wet clothing frequently to avoid losing body heat. Wet clothing loses much of its insulating value and quickly wicks heat away from the body.

Stretch before you go out. If you go shoveling snow, do a few stretches to warm up your body. This reduces the likelihood of muscle injury.

Avoid overexertion, such as B. shoveling heavy snow, pushing a vehicle or walking in deep snow. Exposure to the cold and hard work can cause a heart attack. Sweating can lead to cold and hypothermia.

Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks. In winter weather, slips and falls are common, resulting in painful and sometimes disabling injuries.

If you need to get out during a winter storm, use public transportation whenever possible. About 70 percent of winter deaths caused by ice and snow occur in cars

DRIVING SAFETY IN WINTER

If the weather is bad, stay off the road if possible. If you must drive in winter weather, follow these tips:

Do you keep in your vehicle:

A window scraper and a small broom. A small sandbag to generate traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats. Matches in a watertight container. A brightly colored (preferably red) cloth that attaches to the antenna

An emergency supply kit, including warm clothing.

Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full so that you can drive off immediately in an emergency and the fuel line does not freeze.

Make sure everyone is wearing their seat belts and keep your full attention on the road.

Do not follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roads.

Do not use cruise control when driving in winter weather.

Do not drive past snowplows.

Ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze in front of roadways.

If you are stranded:

Remain in the vehicle and wait for help. Do not exit the vehicle to seek assistance unless assistance is visible within 100 yards (91 meters). It’s easy to get disoriented and confused in a snowstorm.

Display a problem sign to indicate that you need help. Hang a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and open the hood after the snow stops falling.

Run the engine occasionally to keep it warm. Turn the engine on for about 10 minutes every hour (or five minutes every half hour). Running the engine for short periods of time reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and saves fuel. Use the heater while the engine is running. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow and slightly open a wind window for ventilation.

Keep the dome light on when the engine is running so you can be seen.

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