Union Co. officials preparing for possible ice, power outages

by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:

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MONROE, N.C. - North Carolina Department of Transportation officials and Union County officials are preparing for the possibility of ice and power outages ahead of the winter storm.

On Monday, 34 salt and plow trucks were busy prepping at the NCDOT yard in Monroe after laying down brine on county roads earlier in the day.

"Ice is the one that's the hardest to deal with and creates the most problems on the road for the motorists," said supervisor David Gillette.

Gillette said salt will be less effective in an ice event, and said crews will first focus on clearing primary roads like U.S. 74 before moving onto secondary and residential streets.

"We have to wait and see what the storm brings us and how to react to it," Gillette said.

Union County officials said they will open a shelter at Monroe Middle School if ice causes widespread power outages.

"We just ask people to be ready. Have a battery-powered radio and keep your cellphone charged so you can access information," said spokesman Brett Vines.

Local hardware stores were sold out of ice melt, shovels and sleds.

At Indian Trail Hardware, owner Lamar Wingo said the phones were ringing Monday with last minute requests for kerosene and salt.

"I don't know of anybody that does have any, based on the phone calls we are getting," Wingo said.

County officials told Channel 9 they will be updating Facebook, Twitter and the county website with emergency information.