Carolinians brace for second winter storm in three days

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AAA Carolinas) — The Carolinas are expected to be hit with the second winter storm in three days, starting tonight (Feb. 25) throughout Thursday. Some areas could experience up to 8 inches of snow.

In this undated image, a plow and spreader truck from the North Carolina Department of Transportation is loaded with materials to help clear roads during wintry weather. (NCDOT photo)

In this undated image, a plow and spreader truck from the North Carolina Department of Transportation is loaded with materials to help clear roads during wintry weather. (NCDOT photo)

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has already declared a State of Emergency and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has done the same for 31 counties in South Carolina.

“We encourage motorists to stay off the roads unless it’s absolutely necessary,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “Watch the snow from indoors.”

AAA Carolinas will adjust its staff to assist members based on the amount of incoming calls. Typically call volume is not as high when a weather event is currently happening because less people are on the roads, but calls are prone to drastically increase once motorists get back on the roads.

“Some motorists get a false sense of security once they see the roads are clear. They tend to go faster than they should and end up hitting a patch of ice or slush then find themselves stuck,” said Parsons.

For those who absolutely have to be out, AAA Carolinas offers these tips….

  • See and be seen – Clean ALL snow and ice from entire vehicle.
  • Always wear your seatbelt!
  • Fill up on windshield washer fluid – Salt brine and sand from treated roadways can build up on your windshield. Use a windshield washer fluid with a low freezing point to help keep ice and snow from sticking to the glass.
  • Keep a safe distance: allow more space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Brake slowly: to avoid skidding. If you skid, take your foot off the brake or gas and try to regain traction. Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Avoid passing plows unless necessary.
  • Avoid driving in packs – Give yourself an escape route while driving.
  • Use major routes that have been cleared or salted whenever possible.
  • Don’t use cruise control – You may need to quickly reduce your speed by lifting off the accelerator, which can’t be easily accomplished on slick roads.
  • Keep headlights on!
  • Avoid distractions – Don’t talk on your cell phone, turn down the music and focus on driving.
  • If you are snow-bound, remain in your vehicle. It provides shelter.
  • Approach bridges and overpasses with caution – They freeze because they are exposed to air on all of their surfaces.

EMERGENCY TRAVEL KIT SUGGESTIONS

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Cell phone and car charger
  • First aid kit
  • Non-perishable snacks for both human and pet passengers
  • Medications
  • Bag of brine salt or cat litter
  • Snow shovel
  • Blankets
  • Extra hats, gloves, scarves, socks
  • Ice scraper with brush
  • Jumper cables
  • Warning devices (flares or triangles)
  • 3 tea light candles (6 hours of light)
  • Box of waterproof matches
  • Hand warmers
  • Emergency whistle

During winter weather conditions, AAA says its emergency road service may be slower than usual or limited to circumstances where someone is in imminent danger. Drivers are advised to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 1.9 million members and the public with “travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.”

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