State transportation officials are urging people to drive safely if travel is necessary as North Carolina experiences impacts from its first winter storm of 2022.
“Heavy rainfall as well as sleet and snow in higher elevations are making driving conditions hazardous on roads from the mountains to the coast,” said State Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “People should avoid unnecessary travel. If you must travel, please slow down and never attempt to drive through flooded roads.”
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory until 4 p.m. today for Granville, Person, Guilford and Forsyth counties, and flood watches were issued through late Monday morning for the Triangle, Triad, Fayetteville area, the Sandhills and other central North Carolina counties bordering Virginia. A wind advisory with gusts up to 40 mph was also issued until 4 p.m. today for central North Carolina. Severe thunderstorms, with a risk of isolated tornadoes and straight-line wind gusts are also possible, particularly from Fayetteville south and east, according to the National Weather Service. Snow is expected north of U.S. 64, but any travel-related problems should be limited to elevated roads and bridges, where wet, slushy snow collects.
While all interstates and federal highways statewide are open, N.C. Department of Transportation crews are salting some roads and bridges, particularly in low-lying areas across the Triad and northern Piedmont. NCDOT crews are removing snow in mountain counties and are clearing secondary roads this afternoon before crews start overnight operations. Crews are also clearing downed trees in several areas. Other crews are monitoring conditions and preparing to respond should conditions worsen across the state.
As of 1 p.m., 65 secondary roads and state highways were closed due to the weather, mostly in central North Carolina and the Charlotte area. Areas in the Triad, Triangle and Salisbury area were reporting multiple downed trees blocking some roads Monday. Several secondary roads with low-lying bridges have been temporarily closed in Anson and Stanly counties. Flooding is also impacting travel on the coast, particularly in the northern Outer Banks, Ocracoke and Carteret County. Roads will reopen when it is safe for travel.
Heavy winds from the winter storm also forced officials to suspend all coastal ferry operations until further notice. Stay tuned to NCDOT’s social media channels, as it will use those platforms to announce the resumption of ferry operations when it is safe to do so.
The state Division of Motor Vehicles reported Monday that driver license offices in Bryson City, Kernersville, Lillington, Mocksville, Mooresville, Lincolnton and the Asheville express office were closed due to the weather or power outages. Also, license plate agencies in Albemarle, Burlington and one of the Asheville offices were closed, due to the weather. The NCDMV will provide updates on its website as offices are able to reopen.