ASHEVILLE, NC – A winter storm watch is in effect for Asheville from Thursday evening through Friday evening. According to the National Weather Service, a mix of snow and rain Thursday evening will transition to snow before turning to freezing rain and sleet on Friday. A damaging accumulation of freezing rain is possible.
Travel is discouraged during icy weather. If travel is unavoidable, the NC Department of Transportation offers the following tips for starting or stopping on snowy or icy roads:
– Increase your speed slowly;
– Get the “feel of the road” by testing your steering control and the braking friction;
– Start to move in second gear or higher and release the clutch slowly (for manual shifts);
– Allow at least three times the normal stopping distance to slow down;
– (when you stop) keep your foot off the brake and let the engine slow the vehicle; and
– Maintain extra distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
City public works crews are closely monitoring the weather and will begin pre-treating bridges and roadways as the storm event moves into the area. Crews will work 24-hour schedules to treat roads as needed.
The city of Asheville is urging citizens to monitor forecasts and take measures to prepare for inclement weather and possible power outages. Steps citizens should take now include:
– Having extra blankets in automobiles and at home
– Ensuring each member of the household has winter clothing ready
– Assembling a disaster supply kit (www.ready.gov for further information)
– Being prepared for power outages
– Ensuring a 3-day supply of necessary items (e.g., food, water, medications) in case you are unable to leave your home
– Continually monitoring weather conditions
– Staying off roads if possible
– Having a full tank of gas in automobiles if travel is unavoidable
City transit service will continue to operate according to its regular schedule unless roadways become hazardous. Updates on transit service will be made available if schedule modifications become necessary. Visit www.ashevilletransit.com or call 253-5691 for transit information.
In the event of an emergency, citizens are urged to call 9-1-1. Citizens who are in need of prescription medications or medical supplies and services but are unable to leave their homes due to hazardous roadway conditions may call 252-1110 for assistance.
The Asheville Fire Department will share information about roadway conditions and other emergency notifications at www.twitter.com/ashevillefd.
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.