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Archive for December, 2010

Know What to Do if Your Car Skids in the Snow?

Monday, December 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. If you must drive, don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

Make sure your car is prepared, and that you know how to handle road conditions.

It’s helpful to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot, so you’re familiar with how your car handles. Consult your owner’s manual for tips specific to your vehicle.

Driving safely on icy roads

  • Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  • Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  • Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  • Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
  • Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  • Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  • Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility, and you’re likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
  • Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.

If your rear wheels skid…

  • Take your foot off the accelerator.
  • Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right.
  • If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
  • If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse – this is normal.

If your front wheels skid…

  • Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately.
  • As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go. Then put the transmission in “drive” or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.

If you get stuck…

  • Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.
  • Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
  • Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.
  • Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
  • Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction.
  • Try rocking the vehicle. (Check your owner’s manual first – it can damage the transmission on some vehicles.) Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you’re in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going.

Necessary Equipment

An emergency situation on the road can arise at any time and you must be prepared. In addition to making sure you have a tune-up, a full tank of gas, and fresh anti-freeze, you should carry the following items in your trunk:

  • Properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod-type jack
  • Shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow and tire chains
  • Bag of salt or cat litter
  • Tool kit
  • Essential Supplies
  • Be prepared with a “survival kit” that should always remain in the car. Replenish after use.

Essential supplies include:

  • Working flashlight and extra batteries
  • Reflective triangles and brightly-colored cloth
  • Compass
  • First aid kit
  • Exterior windshield cleaner
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Wooden stick matches in a waterproof container
  • Scissors and string/cord
  • Non-perishable, high-energy foods like unsalted canned nuts, dried fruits, and hard candy.
  • In addition, if you are driving long distances under cold, snowy, and icy conditions, you should also carry supplies to keep you warm such as heavy woolen mittens, socks, a cap, snow boots and blankets.

If You Become Stranded…

  • Do not leave your car unless you know exactly where you are, how far it is to possible help, and are certain you will improve your situation.
  • To attract attention, light two flares and place one at each end of the car a safe distance away. Hang a brightly colored cloth from your antenna.
  • If you are sure the car’s exhaust pipe is not blocked, run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes every hour or so depending upon the amount of gas in the tank.
  • To protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia use the woolen items and blankets to keep warm.
  • Keep at least one window open slightly. Heavy snow and ice can seal a car shut.
  • Eat a hard candy to keep your mouth moist.

Source: National Safety Council

City Crews Continue Focus on Primary Roads, Asheville Transit Service Suspended

Monday, December 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Gusty winds and continued snowfall forced city crews to continue to focus on primary roads last night. When possible, secondary roads were plowed and sanded. Motorists should exercise extreme caution, especially when changing speed or direction for curves, hills and intersections. Overnight temperatures well below freezing mean black ice is likely, even on plowed roads.

Road designations can be viewed at http://gis.ashevillenc.gov/mapasheville/snowmapper/.

Due to road conditions, Asheville Transit bus service is suspended.  Visit www.ashevilletransit.com or call 253-5691 for updates and additional transit information.

High winds through this evening may bring down trees and power lines. To report power outages, call Progress Energy at (800) 419-6356. For more information about what to do if you lose power, visit http://progress-energy.com/aboutenergy/stormcentral/outage/index.asp.

In the event of an emergency, citizens are urged to call 9-1-1.

Updates about weather conditions and city services may be found at www.ashevillenc.gov and www.facebook.com/cityofasheville and www.twitter.com/cityofasheville.

City Crews Make Progress on Primary Roads, Caution Still Advised

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – City crews are continuing to plow roads, focusing again on primary roads with the additional snowfall. The city currently has 18 plow trucks and spreaders on Asheville roads.  Motorists should exercise extreme caution, especially when changing speed or direction for curves, hills and intersections.

Road designations can be viewed at http://gis.ashevillenc.gov/mapasheville/snowmapper/.

When travel is essential, warm coats, clothes, hats, gloves and boots should be worn. Other items to take when travelling include a mobile phone, extra food, water, a flashlight and blankets.

Heavy snow may bring down trees and power lines. To report power outages, call Progress Energy at (800) 419-6356. For more information about what to do if you lose power, visit http://progress-energy.com/aboutenergy/stormcentral/outage/index.asp.

The gates at all city parking garages are open, and parking is available free of charge. Downtown residents are encouraged to move vehicles, if possible to do so safely, to parking garages to make room for snow plows and other equipment. Parking will continue to be free in all city garages until at least 6 a.m. Monday.

In the event of an emergency, citizens are urged to call 9-1-1.

Updates about weather conditions and city services may be found at www.ashevillenc.gov and www.facebook.com/cityofasheville and www.twitter.com/cityofasheville.

City Crews Clearing Roads, Travel Strongly Discouraged

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – City trucks and crews began clearing roads as soon as the first snow began to fall this morning. Twenty three pieces of equipment are on the road plowing and spreading sand and salt.

Heavy snowfall is making road conditions dangerous.  The National Weather Service advises only traveling in cases of emergency.  When travel is necessary, warm coats, clothes, hats, gloves and boots should be worn.  Other items to take when travelling include a mobile phone, extra food, water and blankets.

The National Weather Service has also advised downed trees may be possible due to heavy snowfall.  To report a fallen tree in a street or right-of-way, call 9-1-1.

To report power outages, call Progress Energy at (800) 419-6356. For more information about what to do if you lose power, visit http://progress-energy.com/aboutenergy/stormcentral/outage/index.asp.

Updates about weather conditions and city services may be found at www.ashevillenc.gov and www.facebook.com/cityofasheville and www.twitter.com/cityofasheville.

Pedestrian Bridge Community Update Meeting Scheduled for Jan. 8th

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The city of Asheville will hold a community information meeting and Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) walk Saturday, Jan. 8, from 1-3 p.m.  The meeting will start at the Hillcrest Community Center at 100 Atkinson St.  An information session will kick-off the meeting followed by a community walk where participants will be invited to walk the bridge and areas adjacent to the bridge, sharing safety concerns along the way.

City staff will include representatives from the transportation department, police department, public works department and administrative services department.  APD Captain Daryl Fisher shared, “we’ve already increased our presence in the areas adjacent to the bridge but the key to keeping the old problems from taking root again will be strong relationships between the community and law enforcement officers.  This walk will be an important step in the process.”

Visit www.ashevillenc.gov/progress to view the status of various tasks associated with the reopening of the bridge.

Asheville City Announces Holiday Transit/Garbage Schedule

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville city government offices will be closed Dec. 23, 24, 27 and 31.

Garbage collection will occur Dec. 23 and 27 following the normal schedule.

Asheville Transit will provide bus service Dec. 24 through the following times:

Rt. 1, 2, 4, 12, 15, 18, 16 – last trip will leave at 5pm

Rt. 5, 8,9, 13, 29 – last trip will leave at 4:30 pm

Rt. 11 – last trip will leave at 5:30

Rt. 6 – last trip will leave at 4:00

Rt. 26 – last trip will leave at 5:15

Rt. 28 – last trip will leave at 3:53pm

Transit operations will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1

All public safety services, including police, fire and emergency response, will operate according to normal schedule – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – during the holiday.

For more information about Asheville Transit, call 253-5691, [email protected] visit www.ashevilletransit.com.

To view collections schedules for the sanitation division visit: www.ashevillenc.gov/sanitation.

Buncombe County Offices/Services – Holiday Schedule

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – County Offices and Services are on the following holiday schedule:

Buncombe County Government Offices will be closed:

  • Friday, December 24 – Monday, December 27
  • Friday, December 31 for New Year’s Eve.

Buncombe County Public Libraries will be closed:

  • Friday, December 24 – Monday, December 27
  • Friday, December 31 and Saturday, January 1 (Open again on Monday, January 3)

Landfill & Transfer Station will be closed:

  • Beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday, December 24
  • Saturday, December 25
  • Saturday, January 1
  • Landfill and the Transfer Station will remain open December 31.

Landfill Household Hazardous Waste Day & Electronics Recycling will be closed:

  • Friday, December 24
  • Friday, December 31

City Resumes Loose Leaf Collection

Monday, December 20th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The city of Asheville has released a revised leaf collection schedule due to the recent winter weather. Please see the schedule below with the revised dates:

BAGGED LEAF COLLECTION SCHEDULE

If your trash day is: Place bagged leaves at the curb on:
Monday Dec. 20, Jan. 3, Feb. 7
Tuesday Dec. 27, Jan. 10, Feb. 14
Wednesday Dec. 20, Jan. 17, Feb. 21
Thursday Dec. 27, Jan. 24, Feb. 28

LOOSE LEAF VACUUM COLLECTION SCHEDULE

If your trash day is: First round vacuum collection begins
Monday Dec. 20
Wednesday Jan. 3
If your trash day is: Second round vacuum collection begins
Tuesday Jan. 17
Thursday Jan. 31
Monday Feb. 7
Wednesday Feb. 21

Fresh leaves can be delivered to your home or business at no cost.  Call 251-1122 for information on applying to receive loose leaves.  For more information on youar waste collection please call 251-1122 or visit the website at www.ashevillenc.gov/sanitation.

Pack Library to Hold Rededication Ceremony

Monday, December 20th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Pack Memorial Library will have a rededication ceremony on Tuesday January 18 at 2 p.m. celebrating the completion of a four million dollar renovation project started in the fall of 2009. Light refreshments will be provided and tours of the renovated facility will be available. Asheville novelist Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian and The Swan Thieves, will make remarks.

This rededication ceremony comes at the conclusion of the first major renovation the library has had since opening in 1978. The renovation brought the thirty-three year old building up to date by constructing a small addition on the north side, replacing all heating and air-conditioning systems and incorporating former storage space into the public areas of the building. New space for the North Carolina collection has been created, the children’s room has nearly doubled in size and the main floor is newly reconfigured to provide more space for seating and technology. All of the electrical and lighting systems were replaced.

The rededication ceremony is free and the public is invited.

For more information call 250-4700 or visit buncombecounty.org/library.

If the Asheville City Schools are closed on January 18th, the snow date for the rededication ceremony will be February 1 at 2 p.m.

Comedians Announced for Grove Park Inn’s Comedy Classic

Friday, December 17th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – It’s a weekend of a thousand laughs as John Boy and Billy host two nights of laugh out loud comedy during the 23rd Annual Comedy Classic on March 11 and 12 at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa.   Don’t miss the chance to see headline act Jon Reep take the stage at 8 p.m. on Friday March 11.  Reep is a stand-up comedian and actor, known as the “That thing got a Hemi?” guy in Dodge commercials, and more recently as the winner of the fifth season of Last Comic Standing on NBC. Tickets for the Friday night show are $45.

On Saturday March 12, Tommy Johnagin and Reno Collier will take the stage. Johnagin’s television credits include Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, CMT Comedy Stage and The Late Show with David Letterman. Collier gained celebrity as the opening act for Larry the Cable Guy and with his own Comedy Central Presents special. Collier was also featured on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Next Generation. Tickets for Saturday are $50.

Reep, Johnagin and Collier will be joined by popular syndicated radio hosts John Boy and Billy, as well as other comedians and musicians for a weekend of non-stop fun.

For more information on Comedy Classic 2011, please contact The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa at 800.438.0050 or 828.252.2711; visit www.groveparkinn.com, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ewgrove and Facebook at www.facebook.com/groveparkinn.