Snow updates: Public Works crews battle black ice

Salt is loaded onto a truck at the City of Asheville Public Works facility Sunday (Jan. 8, 2017).



Work continues to scrape and salt Asheville streets today.

“We were able to treat all priority one roads yesterday and most of the priority twos overnight. We are continuing those efforts, said Asheville Streets Division Manager Chad Bandy.

Despite the 4 to 6 inches of snow Asheville received overnight Friday, by Saturday evening City of Asheville Public Works crews had plowed all priority one roads. Crews then worked to clear secondary streets Saturday night (also called priority two streets). And Public Works continues to make progress today.

Bitter cold will continue to affect travel safety, contributing to black ice on roads.

For that reason, motorists are cautioned to avoid driving. “Frigid temperatures mean travel will be treacherous even after the snow, sleet and freezing rain stop falling,” warned Gov. Roy Cooper, who declared a state of emergency in advance of the snowstorm Friday.

“The bitter cold greatly reduces salt’s effectiveness,” Bandy explained. “Still, we plan to hit all roads by the end of the day. The sun will help the material even with highs only in the 20s.”

What about travel to work Monday morning? Bandy urged caution: “The low overnight temps will once again cause a lot of refreeze on the roads.”

The City of Asheville has 28 trucks equipped for snow removal. During snow, Public Works works two shifts, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Staff has been working around the clock this weekend.


You can see a map of priority roads by visiting Asheville’s SnowMapper webpage.





Here is a link to an NCDOT regional road condition report.

Here’s what else you need to know.


ART bus service resumes

ART will resume bus service at noon Sunday (Jan. 8, 2017). Today’s service from the downtown Transit Station will be as follows:

N1 — First trip departs noon; last trip departs 4 p.m.

N3 — First trip departs 12:35 p.m.; last trip departs 4:35 p.m.

E1 — First trip departs noon; last trip departs 4 p.m.

E2 — First trip departs 12:15 p.m.; last trip departs 4:15 p.m.

W3 — First trip departs noon; last trip departs 4 p.m.

W5 — First trip departs 12:30 p.m.; last trip departs 4:30 p.m.

Find updated information on the Transit website under Temporary Service Alerts.



Garages open free

To assist City plows with snow removal, City parking garages are free all weekend through 10 a.m. Monday (Jan. 9).

This will allow vehicles to get off the streets so our plows can operate more efficiently for snow removal and any treatment of refreezing areas.


The forecast

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning effective from 7 p.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Saturday for multiple counties, including Buncombe County. Depending on location, the City of Asheville received between 4 to 6 inches of snow.

Extreme cold followed the snow overnight. At 7 a.m. Saturday, the temperature had fallen to 9 degrees, leading to the potential for black ice, even on streets that had been cleared Saturday.


Keep up to date with the forecast here.


Code Purple in effect

Asheville area shelters are offering emergency cold weather services to people who are currently experiencing homelessness and would not otherwise have a safe, warm place to stay through Jan. 9.

Here is a list of Asheville shelters that participate in the Code Purple Alert program.

The CODE PURPLE effort stems from the collaborative work of the Homeless Coalition, which is a collective of agencies, faith groups, and individuals experiencing homelessness that works on an ongoing basis to address the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.



Governor declares state of emergency

Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Friday morning for all 100 counties in the state. Cooper held a morning briefing on preparations for the storm, and he urged people to stay off highways during and after the snowstorm.

“It’s good that we aren’t looking at a commuting day Saturday,” Cooper said.


More information coming

The City will pass along more information as it becomes available.

Check the City of Asheville’s Facebook page and Twitter feed for latest developments.


Clearing sidewalks

The City of Asheville removes snow and ice from sidewalks around property it owns. Property owners are expected to do the same, so please clear the sidewalk in front of your home or business. There is information on the City of Asheville website about that.

City facilities affected

The WNC Nature Center was closed Saturday and remains closed today as trails need to be cleared and made safe for people to walk on.

However, the U.S. Cellular Center was open. That’s because a large event, the 6th annual Gala Women’s gymnastics meet, is going on this weekend.


Meeting to be rescheduled

The City of Asheville Stormwater Services Division had  scheduled a meeting for Saturday with Morris Street residents who stand to be impacted by a large stormwater project. Because of snow, this meeting has been cancelled and will be rescheduled.