Travel conditions improving across the east - WNCN: News, Weather

Travel conditions improving across the east

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Travel conditions are improving for drivers across several counties in the east Wednesday morning.

State Highway Patrol tells 9 On Your Side that the majority of main roads across the east are clear. Troopers still advise drivers to heed caution when traveling across any bridges or overpasses.

Pitt, Beaufort, Craven, Pamlico and Martin County Communications are reporting that main roads are clear, and much drier Wednesday morning.

Monday night, freezing temperatures and icy conditions made it almost impossible for drivers to make it home safely.
And it remained that way for much of Tuesday morning.

Most stranded vehicles have been picked up by a tow truck or the owner themselves, but it took some serious effort to do so.

Tow truck companies say their phones haven't stopped ringing since early Tuesday morning.
Hopeless drivers abandoned their cars, some saying it was too cold to wait for a tow.      
The Highway Patrol got dozens of calls for service; in fact, three times the amount of calls they see in a week.
9 On Your Side’s Andrew Ruiz found two cars off Frog Level Road, literally stuck in their tracks.
Tameka Battle swerved off Highway 11 around 2:30 in the morning, and after 12 hours, she’s just getting her car back.

"It was scary a little,” said Battle. “I swerved just a little bit. But it could have been a lot worse."

“I'll tell you it’s tough,” said Jeremy Stroud, NCDOT. “The clouds, the temperatures, those conditions are really playing against us in removing that frozen precipitation from our roadways."

The roadways will get better as temperatures creep above freezing on Wednesday.
9 On Your Side asked law enforcement if they had any advice for drivers. They're saying what they've been hearing all season, to stay off the roads until conditions improve.

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Many roads remain frozen across the east.

In New Bern, the Neuse River Bridge was closed temporarily due to multiple accidents and ice, but has since reopened to travel.

In Greenville, police say they responded to 8 minor accidents overnight. They're doubling up on patrols and only using vehicles with all-wheel drive.

The public is being cautioned not to drive until it is absolutely necessary. Highway patrol and the Pitt County Sheriff's Office had a busy morning and afternoon.

"Our deputies are still out responding to calls, answering calls,” said Pitt County Sheriff’s Office Captain, Tony Williams. “We're asking everyone that's driving today to slow down, take a little bit more time, if you don't need to be on the roads right now, just remain home until these roads thaw. We asked our guys to slow down and don't get too close to the cars in front of you."

Many drivers are finding it difficult to come to a stop and begin to slide as they apply the brakes. Many sidewalks and parking lots are also iced over.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said trucks salted primary, major, and four lane roadways last night. They have 8 trucks running salt in Pitt County.

The agency says that Interstates are mostly clear with possible icy spots except for Northampton County, where they're partially covered with snow/ice. 

US/NC Routes and Secondary Roads in Beaufort, Currituck, Edgecombe, Halifax, Hyde, Martin, Nash, Northampton counties are covered with snow and ice.

US/NC Routes and Secondary Roads in Chowan, Dare, Greene, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Washington, and Wilson counties are covered or partially covered with snow/ice.

US/NC Routes and Secondary Roads in Craven and Jones counties are clear with possible icy spots.

For specific information about roadways conditions near you, you can always reach the North Carolina Department of Transportation at 1-877-DOT-4YOU.

Many schools and businesses are either closed or operating under delays. 9 On Your Side will continue to update conditions and our complete list of closings and delays.

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As sleet continues to fall in Greenville, wet roads freeze over tonight creating icy conditions for Tuesday's morning commute.

North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Potter said drivers need to slow down on these slick roads.

"If you have to go out, make sure to allow plenty of following distance between you and the other car in front of you," Trooper Potter said. "Best advice is to stay home if you can."

We will provide updates on Tuesday's road conditions starting tomorrow morning on 9 On Your Side Morning Edition.
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