Road crews prep in mountains, foothills for overnight precipitation

by: Dave Faherty Updated:

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BURKE COUNTY, N.C. - Road crews across the foothills scrambled to get ready for whatever falls overnight.

Channel 9 saw them out here first thing Monday morning trying to keep major highways like Interstate 40 safe.

By lunchtime, many of the main roads and bridges in Burke County had a layer of brine, a salt-water mixture, coating the pavement some 12 hours before the storm arrives. Plows have been placed on many of the trucks here where they are expecting snow, sleet, and freezing rain overnight.

Johnny Scism with Burke County Department of Transportation was on the phone calling in workers for an overnight shift.

"The people really need to be careful in the morning because it could be slick. It doesn't take much rain on your bridges and overpasses especially," Scism said. "We got our spare wire. We got our gas for chain saws."

In Caldwell County, linemen with Blue Ridge Electric are on high alert in case there are power outages. Crews that Eyewitness News spoke with already have their trucks loaded with supplies in case there is a long period of freezing rain Tuesday morning.

Channel 9 asked workers here how much of an icy buildup gets them concerned.

"Anything can bring the trees down but anything from a quarter inch up can give us real problems with the trees and downed power lines," said lineman Eric Laws.

In Burke, they say that an overnight crew will come in around 7:30 p.m. Monday and another shift will replace them Tuesday morning at 7:30. Within the last hour, Eyewitness News noticed more cloud cover moving in from the southwest as that storm approaches the Carolinas.

Read more about the upcoming weather event: Cold rain headed to area; Snow possible in mountains

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