Inclement winter weather is scheduled to hit Yadkin County and Elkin beginning at approximately 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon and continuing through to midnight.
According to Accuweather.com, snow accumulations are predicted to be between four to eight inches in Yadkinville and Elkin. Temperatures are expected to make a rapid drop from the mid-40s to below freezing by 3 a.m. on Friday morning.
In anticipation of the winter weather schools in Elkin dismissed students at 2 p.m. and Yadkin County Schools were released at 1:30 p.m.
This is the first winter storm of the year for these areas and state officials are preparing the best they can but preparations are difficult due to the large amounts of rain the area has received in the past few days.
“When you don’t have rain and you know that you are going to have a storm coming through you can pretreat the roads with a brine solution,” said Jerry Higgins, a communications officer for North Carolina Department of Transportation. “When you have rain like we’re having now then we can’t pretreat the roads because it will just wash away.”
Higgins said that the road crews for the state are being sent home early to rest up before being called back in by 7 p.m. tonight to start patrolling the roads and pretreating when the rain stops.
“We are sending some crews home early so they can get some rest and they will be called in at about 7 p.m. unless the weather gets worse earlier than expected,” Higgins said. “Once it stops raining they will be able to put out some sand and salt solutions on the road and monitor and plow as needed.”
Higgins said that the Yadkin and Elkin areas are fortunate because temperatures have not been particularly cold leading up to this winter storm, so accumulation shouldn’t start immediately.
“It hasn’t been really cold so when the snow comes down it’s not going to stick probably,” Higgins said. “Putting the sand and salt solution should take care of quite a bit of the problems. We’ll be in contact with highway patrol and other law enforcement in towns and they will let us know when there are roads that getting bad.”
Higgins said that major roads like I-77 and US-421 will get treated first, followed by major roadways in the area like Highway 601 and 67 and then secondary roads would be treated next.
Higgins said that crews will be on the roads throughout the night treating the roads that need special attention and plowing as frequently as necessary. He encourages drivers to get home as early as possible and stay off the roads Thursday evening if they don’t have to be out.
“People need to be careful while they are out driving and make sure that they are leaving plenty of space between their car and the car in front of them,” Higgins said. “If drivers don’t have to be on the road then they should try to stay in because it is safer for them and it allows our trucks to have the space to clear the roads like they need to.”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.