Gov. Cooper declares state of emergency as eastern N.C. braces for winter storm

Preparations continue across eastern Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – North Carolina is under a state of emergency.

Governor Roy Cooper made the announcement during an emergency weather briefing Friday morning. He said the declaration will allow authorities to move equipment around the state more easily.

“We believe it was important to send a signal that we do want people to stay home and stay off the road,” he said. Cooper elaborated that there are nearly 2,000 trucks available for the weekend. And the National Guard is standing by.

All eyes are on the roads ahead of the winter weather. Preparations are underway across the east to make travel as smooth as possible.

Trucks have been moving out of the DOT yard in Greenville all morning to brine main roads in Pitt County. You’ll see the trucks on area roads all weekend as crews work around the clock to keep drivers as safe as possible.

Pitt County DOT has about 600 tons of salt and 15,000 gallons of brine they’re tapping into for pre-treatment.

“It pretty much is effective,” explained Randy Hall, Pitt Co. maintenance engineer, NCDOT. “Whenever the snow starts falling on it, it’ll go ahead and start melting the snow and keep the snow from bonding to the road, make it easier to push the snow off the road.”

The next phase will be snow plows during the storm, then laying rock salt.

DOT crews plan to work double shifts to keep main roads drivable. They’ll focus on primary roads, then move to secondary roads.

Stay at home if you can. But if you can’t, here’s some driving tips.

In addition to Pitt County, crews will brine roads Friday in Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, and Pamlico counties. That includes US 70, 264, and 17.

Again, the state will start with high traffic roads, then move on to secondary roads.

Duplin County roads were sprayed Thursday.

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