BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) crews are preparing roads for the forecast of very cold temperatures and precipitation.

NCDOT Assistant Division 13 Maintenance Engineer Scott Killough said that crews began around-the-clock road treatments on Wednesday.

Because the forecast precipitation is rain, crews are prepping roads with sand and salt instead of brine, he said.

Killough also said NCDOT has removed all possible work zones along highways to improve safety and traffic flow.

However, DOT crews are worried about the impacts ice and black ice could have on the holiday travel.

“We would ask that you limit that travel to just what’s necessary,” he said. “And then especially, if your travel can be done at times of warmer periods that would limit the amount of ice and black ice, that would be much safer.”

Killough recommended that drivers prepare their vehicles and passengers for a worst-case scenario, like traffic jams or car crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests preparing your vehicle and keeping a list of safety items inside before traveling in cold weather:

  • a snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper; 
  • abrasive material (sand or kitty litter), in case your vehicle gets stuck in the snow; 
  • jumper cables, flashlight, and warning devices (flares and emergency markers); 
  • blankets for protection from the cold; and 
  • a cell phone and charger, water, food, and any necessary medicine.

NCDOT crews will work around the clock to continue treating roads until dangerous conditions subside, Killough said.