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Snow clean-up runs smoothly

December 27, 2010

The weekend's snow gave county residents a white Christmas, but it also gave them potentially treacherous travel conditions.

State and local crews forfeited their Christmas breaks this weekend to spend Saturday and Sunday clearing and preparing roadways for motorists.

Public works crews and emergency responders, however, had few difficulties.

"It was very uneventful for that much snow," said Catawba County Emergency Services director Bryan Blanton, of the county's requests for emergency services during the winter weather. "I think the timing was good."

Snow blanketed the county as many residents gathered at home celebrating the Christmas holidays Saturday and Sunday. Blanton said those residents didn't venture out into the snow, decreasing the number of motorists battling winter conditions on the roadways.

Blanton said emergency personnel responded to weather-related crashes this weekend, but the incidents were minor with no serious injuries.

Newton Public Works crews started clearing roads of snow Saturday night and worked all day Sunday. About four crews of four men each worked during the weekend to put a salt and sand mixture on Newton roads, said Public Works and Utilities director Wilce Martin.

Public works crews continued their work Monday at 4 a.m. when they checked road conditions in the city.

"It all went pretty smoothly," Martin said, adding most roads in Newton are now clear of snow. "The sun (Monday) will help, too."

Conover Public Works also reported easy removal of the weekend snow.

Public Works director Jimmy Clark said the city started brining streets Thursday in anticipation of winter weather.

Conover crews also worked Christmas Day starting at 6 p.m. to clear city streets, and they continued working Sunday until about 5 p.m.

Workers didn't have to add any more brine to streets, and Clark said snow removal was "relatively easy."

He said Conover's major roadways are clear, and most of the smaller roadways within city limits are clear, as well.

"There are a few slick spots," he said, "but there will be because of the cold temperatures."

The North Carolina Department of Transportation reported that snow fell in all the state's 100 counties this weekend, necessitating widespread clean-up on state roadways.

Most state roads are expected to be clear Tuesday afternoon, with some portions of the state requiring additional cleanup Wednesday, according to the NCDOT.

Most interstate roads in North Carolina are operating at a normal speed. Some roads, however, require drivers to travel below the posted speed limit.

Snow may be cleared off roadways, but the NCDOT advises motorists to beware of what they can't see: black ice.

The NCDOT advises motorists to be on the lookout for black ice, icy patches and shady roadways each morning for the next few days.

To inquire about road conditions before traveling, motorists can call 5-1-1 for up-to-date travel conditions. Travelers can also get updates about the roadways by following NCDOT on Twitter.

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