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Clean-up to continue for days

January 10, 2011

Many people enjoyed the day off Monday after Catawba County was blanketed with snow and ice. 

However, public works departments worked around the clock to clear the icy mess and ensure the safety of travelers in the area. 

In Newton, public works crews arrived on the job Monday at 5 a.m. Public Works director Wilce Martin said crews started scraping streets and spreading salt/sand mixture on roadways in anticipation of the winter weather. The department has four crews of about four men each who will work to clear snow, ice and other accumulation.  "We'll have crews out here all night," Martin said. "They'll be here around the clock." 

Like Newton, Conover crews were also on the job early Monday morning. Conover's public works crews were on standby Monday at 4 a.m. They worked throughout Monday to clear the layer of snow blanketing roadways.
 
"It's going pretty smoothly," said Conover Public Works director Jimmy Clark. 

Clark said the department anticipates working on snow removal for the next 36 hours as the storm continues to move through the region.
 
Secondary and subdivison roads in Conver remained slushy Monday, and Clark encouraged residents to travel only if necessary. He said residents can contact the department through emergency services to report problems. 

For those residents who must venture out onto roadways, the North Carolina Department of Transportation advised motorists to use extreme caution and drive slowly. 

If drivers hit a slick spot and start to slide, the NCDOT suggests drivers take their foot off the gas pedal and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. 

The National Weather Service forecasted snowfall of 1-2 inches Monday in Catawba County, but the winter weather wasn't supposed to stop there.

Monday's snow was expected to turn into a wintry mix Monday evening, with a chance of precipitation at 90 percent. 

According to the National Weather Service, a winter storm warning is in effect for the Hickory Metro until noon Tuesday.  A mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow is forecasted for Tuesday morning, with the chance of precipitation at 30 percent. 

The NCDOT sprayed salt brine on primary roads and bridges in Alexander, Catawba and Iredell counties.  According to the NCDOT's website, workers plowed snow and spread salt, as needed. 

Temperatures hovered Monday in the mid- to upper-20s. Temperature highs are expected to remain in the low 40s for the remainder of the week, making travel potentially treacherous for the next few days. 

Duke Energy reported 378 power outages Monday at noon in North and South Carolina. Only of of those more than 300 outages was reported in Catawba County. 

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