Highway crews prepare roads for winter weather

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HENDERSONVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Highway crews with the North Carolina Department of Transportation have been working to prepare major roads and highways ahead of Thursday night’s winter storm. The county was placed under a winter storm warning by the National Weather Service GSP office.

Ahead of the first drop of precipitation, crews began brining heavily trafficked roads. The goal of the saltwater mixture is twofold: First, it prevents the formation of ice on the roads; second, it softens snow to ease snow plowing.

However, forecast temperatures are expected to drop below freezing, meaning highway crews will change their tactics.

“What we’ll do is switch over to a sand and salt mixture,” Henderson County Maintenance Engineer Roger Ayers. “The sand is used to give traction on the frozen water that has turned into ice.”

NCDOT crews will prioritize clearing major roads — like Interstate 26 — and will work to clear smaller roads as time passes.

At the city level, Hendersonville emergency response is on standby.

“Our dispatchers, our police department, our fire department, they’re all ready for an uptick in calls, but they’re fully staffed and ready to go,” Hendersonville Communications Manager Allison Justus said.

Additionally, she added, the city’s public works department is primed to clear roads. Crews will prioritize roads near the city’s hospital and around emergency response locations.

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