Elizabeth City gets much-needed salt supply

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by Nick Ochsner, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 6:53 PM

ELIZABETH CITY -- Yellow trucks loaded with hundreds of gallons of brine sloshed across northeastern North Carolina roads again Monday as NCDOT crews laid the solution down in advance of another winter storm.

The winter storm, expected to at least brush Elizabeth City mid-week, will be the fourth in as many weeks.

That means four weeks of 12-hour shifts in the bitter, cold weather for NCDOT crews.

"It's getting a little monotonous," said county maintenance engineer Ronnie Sawyer.

Sawyer said his guys have been able to rest up since the big storm two weeks ago that dumped at least half a foot of snow in Elizabeth City and elsewhere in the northeastern part of the state.

But the weekly round of winter weather has taken an equally hard toll on supplies, like salt, that crews use to help keep snow and ice from sticking to the roads.

"It seems like we're gonna be okay with supplies such as salt, but we definitely need to stay on top of it, as in, after each event order [more]," Sawyer said.

A convoy of dump trucks made their way to the NCDOT yard throughout the afternoon on Monday to replenish the salt supply.

As DOT crews continued to prep the roads, other residents around Elizabeth City were wondering when the winter weather would ever end.

"I'm not going to say I'm tired of it because it's the work of the Lord," said Lynnell Godfrey. "But it's cold. It's cold out here," she said. 

Elizabeth City residents may be particularly weary of the winter weather because they received an extra helping of it last week when an unexpected dusting of snow fell.

That dusting caught many drivers off guard, according to Robby Williams who works at a local towing company.

"This past snow we had, business picked up a lot because people weren't prepared for it," he said. "All of a sudden, it dropped on the roads that weren't treated and we had quite a few [calls] between midnight and eight o'clock. We had about 40 accidents"

Sawyer, the NCDOT maintenance engineer, cautioned drivers from driving in the winter elements. Staying off the roads also helps crews clear the roads faster.

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