Roads turn to ice as Triangle braces for more snow
by WNCN Staff
RALEIGH, N.C. -
Traffic around the Triangle came to a halt on many roads Wednesday afternoon as the snows roared down into central North Carolina and left motorists stranded in brutal traffic.
The roads were clear of gridlock Wednesday night but a sheet of ice started forming over the snow that fell earlier in the day.
Officials are urging residents to stay off of the roads to avoid hazardous conditions and to allow crews to treat roads.
WNCN Chief Meteorologist Wes Hohenstein said the Triangle could see another one to three inches of snow Thursday.
Wrecks abounded across the Triangle, many people gave up their cars to walk home, and viewers reached out to WNCN with stories of aggressive drivers going the wrong way on roads.
The City of Raleigh said it had 55 employees working 24 plows and spreaders throughout the city, Wednesday night. City of Raleigh staff also is working throughout the night to clear sidewalks and parking decks.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation said it has around 800 trucks working statewide to clear the roads.
Using cell phones became a frustrating experience for many, too, as the heavy phone use impacted cell performance.
Many motorists got out and helped shove other cars out of the way as familiar pathways like Glenwood Avenue, Interstate 40 and the Raleigh Beltline because vast parking lots of frustrated drivers.
At least 50s were left abandoned on Glenwood Avenue past Crabtree Valley Mall.
In Durham, there were 330 calls to 911 dispatchers between 2 and 3 p.m. and another 297 911 calls between 3 and 4 p.m. There were 12 traffic accidents by 4 p.m., Durham Police said.
The stunning gridlock reminded many of 2005, but with the important difference that many schools were out Wednesday so at least the roads were not jammed with school buses.
Traffic on I-40 eastbound between Davis Drive and Miami Boulevard was at a complete stop as of 1:50 p.m.
Triangle roads at 2 p.m. Wednesday
Some around the Triangle even left their cars as they scrambled to get indoors. The scene was suddenly reminiscent of the gridlock that hit Atlanta in the storm earlier this month.
WNCN reporter Jonathan Rodriguez, en route to Johnston County on I-40, said the heavy snow made it impossible to see where the lanes were.
Also in Durham County, there was stop and go traffic between Miami Boulevard and I-440 and stop and go traffic between the Durham Freeway and Highway 147.
In Wake County, traffic was slowed and often stopped across most major arteries.
Problems were so extensive in Chapel Hill that police said they would only respond to serious accidents and they asked motorists involved in minor accidents to just exchange information and contact police later.
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