Schools, NCDOT crews prep for winter weather - WNCT

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Schools, NCDOT crews prep for winter weather

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RALEIGH, N.C. - With the predicted winter weather, area schools and Highway Patrol officers are busy preparing for what could be a nasty morning commute.

And with the precipitation expected to change over to all snow, area schools are already taking precautions.

Many school districts have already announced delayed openings tomorrow morning.

School officials in Beaufort County say the delays are to protect students and ensure buses and the heating systems in the schools are operating correctly.

And while we aren't expecting a lot of snow, the possibility of black ice is what worries schools.

"We know that whatever happens in the morning in terms of conditions on the road probably won't change much throughout the day. So the two hour delay gives us an opportunity to have daylight to take a look at whats going on. It also allows parents to know that we aren't going to be on a regular schedule,” said Don Phipps, Beaufort County Schools Superintendent.

Meanwhile, maintenance crews with the N.C. Department of Transportationt are preparing roads for winter weather.

Crews are putting salt brine on bridges and overpasses and putting plows and spreaders on trucks. They'll be ready with salt and sand to treat roads once the wintry weather comes in, and will be on standby to work Tuesday evening and through the night to keep the roads clear.

NCDOT offers the following safety tips for driving in winter weather:

•    Clear windows and mirrors;
•    Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles;
•    Approach bridges and overpasses them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge unless necessary;
•    If you 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;
•    Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection in case any vehicles coming from other directions lose control of their vehicles while trying to stop.
•    If you have a cellular phone, take it with you. You can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling *HP (*47) or call law enforcement in the event of an emergency by dialing 911.
•    Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference.

You can also get emergency information from the N.C. Department of Public Safety at http://readync.org, and download the ReadyNC app to help you prepare for everything from road conditions to severe storms on a daily basis. It is available for free in the AppStore for iPhones and Google Play for Android devices.
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