TROOPERS: 300 - 400 Accidents In Eastern Carolina Due To Winter Storm

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The Highway Patrol says it has investigated 300-400 vehicle accidents in Eastern Carolina because of Friday's storm. A disptacher said as of Saturday night troopers had been called out for service 489 times.

Those accidents began at 4:00 p.m. Friday in Troop A, which is headquartered in Greenville. A spokesman says several of the accidents were serious, but so far none were fatalities.

The Department of Transportation said Saturday most major highways were dry, but secondary roads were still wet in some places. Drivers are being urged to use caution as it's tough to tell where those wet spots may be ice.

Forecasters had predicted temperatures would be in the low 40's Saturday afternoon, but in many places mercury struggled to get much above freezing.

In Bertie & Hertford counties, the D.O.T. says primary roads are covered with snow/ice. Last night there 20 accidents in Bertie County and fortunately none were serious.

The D.O.T. fears that any ice that did melt today will refreeze again tonight as temperatures are expected to drop below 32° again after sunset.

D.O.T. Conditions As Of 9:00 P.M.

Beaufort County - Roads clear
Bertie County - Roads clear with possible icy spots
Craven County - Roads clear
Dare County - Roads clear with possible icy spots
Duplin County - Roads clear
Edgecombe County - Roads partially covered with snow/ice
Halifax County - Roads clear with possible icy spots
Hertford County - Roads partially covered with snow/ice
Hyde County - Roads clear
Jones County - Roads clear with possible icy spots
Martin County - Roads clear with possible icy spots
Nash County - Roads clear with possible icy spots
Onslow County - Roads clear
Pamlico County - Roads clear
Pasquotank County - Main roads clear with possible icy spots, secondary roads partially covered with snow/ice
Perquimans County - Main roads clear with possible icy spots, secondary roads partially covered with snow/ice
Pitt County - Roads clear with possible icy spots
Tyrrell County - Roads clear
Washington County -Roads clear
Wayne County - Roads clear
Wilson County - Roads clear with possible icy spots

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Now that the precipitation has run it's course in eastern Carolina, the attention now turns to below freezing temperatures and icing along roads.

Icy bridges and overpasses are a serious problem. There have been dozens of crashes Friday afternoon into evening. Puddles and standing water on roadways will freeze overnight, resulting in black ice and hazardous driving conditions.

Officials urge you not to drive unless absolutely necessary. If you have to drive, reduced speed can help prevent loss of control. Troopers say several of the accidents on area bridges were caused because the drivers were going too fast for conditions.

The threat on area roadways will last through Saturday morning. Sun is expected and temperatures will climb through the morning, alleviating some of the issues on roadways.

You can call 511 anytime for information on road conditions and traffic updates.

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All of Eastern Carolina, including Carteret and Pamlico counties, are now under a winter weather advisory until 1 a.m. Saturday.

Dangerous driving conditions and icy spots on walkways and sidewalks, steps and other areas are possible.

At 6pm, most of the precipitation has changed to rain for coastal locations and freezing rain further inland. Snow has been reported through Pitt county while locations south have reported freezing rain/sleet (Onslow, Jones and Lenoir county). The precipitation will continue to push east this afternoon. Radar trends indicated a gradual changeover to sleet towards the evening hours.

Bitter cold temperatures continue to grip Eastern Carolina Friday, with the the threat of a wintry mix impacting parts of the area.

While Friday's temperatures began in the teens or low 20s in Eastern Carolina, the temperatures are forecast to rise throughout the day. They will still be at or near freezing in many locations when the precipitation starts, creating the possible icy conditions.

Roads will be slick, especially bridges and overpasses. Officials are treating the roadways and urge drivers to stay off the road unless absolutely necessary.

For all of Eastern Carolina, temperatures will dip again overnight into Saturday, and water on roadways could freeze, causing treacherous conditions.

Stairways and walkways are also prime areas where icy spots could form.

Stay tuned to WITN and for the latest information.


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