Durham Winter Storm Watch and Precautions

Hello Neighbors, DURHAM, N.C. – The City of Durham is busy preparing to keep operations running smoothly ahead of this weekend’s predicted winter weather.

If weather and road conditions worsen and operational decisions are made accordingly, residents and City employees are encouraged to stay up-to-date on information about City operational hours, program or service changes, trash and recycling collection delays, and more through the following platforms available on the Durham Information Network:

·       http://Facebook.com/CityofDurhamNC

·       http://Twitter.com/CityofDurhamNC

·       Durham One Call at (919) 560-1200

·       Durham Television Network (Time Warner Cable channel 8 and AT&T U-verse channel 99)

 Beginning yesterday, the City’s Public Works Department started brining operations on primary City streets and bridge routes, and this will continue until the snowfall begins. Once the snowfall begins, the department has 2,000 tons of salt & sand mix and more than 2,500 tons of salt on hand to be used by two motor graders and 24 trucks outfitted with plows and spreaders for clearing operations. Public Works crews plan to operate in 12-hour shifts until all primary and secondary roads, bridges, and emergency routes are cleared. The department is also coordinating with the local NCDOT maintenance office to ensure that the State-maintained roads within the city limits are passable throughout this weather event.

 The City’s plan of action for clearing or reducing hazards on city streets is prioritized in the following order:

·       Bridges and overpasses throughout the city.

·       Major arterial streets within the city.

·       Streets to essential health facilities, police and fire stations, and critical community facilities.

·       Routes to two City fuel sites.

·       Streets within the central business district.

·       Clear access to Durham Public Schools.

·       All residential areas with priority initially to passage of emergency vehicles and then to all traffic.

 Residents and property owners are responsible for snow and ice removal in their driveways, apartment access roads, parking lots, and sidewalks. The clearing of private streets is the responsibility of the homeowners within that subdivision. In order to facilitate snow and ice removal on city streets, residents can help by adhering to the following tips:

·       Stay off the roads if at all possible.

·       Drive very slowly and carefully. If involved in a property damage wreck, motorists should pull off the road to prevent additional accidents and remember that it may take some additional time for an officer to respond to the accident due to icy road conditions.

·       If at all possible, park cars off the street or highway to let salt-and-sand spreaders pass with ease.

·       Treat intersections with malfunctioning traffic lights as four-way stops and proceed with caution.

 The City’s General Services Department Urban Forestry Division and Landscape Services Division will be on-call during this event to help remove downed trees on City streets and public rights-of-way. Today, crews are prepping all equipment, such as chainsaws, bucket trucks, and knuckle loaders as well as pre-treating some downtown sidewalks and primary walkways. Crews also plan to clear downtown sidewalks throughout the event as well. The City’s Public Works, Solid Waste Management and Neighborhood Improvement Services departments will support Urban Forestry’s efforts to help remove larger debris as needed.

 To report downed trees on City-maintained streets, residents should contact the Durham Emergency Communications Center non-emergency line at (919) 560-4600 unless the downed tree presents an immediate, life-threatening hazard; then call 9-1-1. Residents are urged to not touch downed trees or branches that are tangled up with power lines. Power outages and any downed power lines should be reported directly to Duke Energy Carolinas at 1-800-POWERON or 1-800-769-3766 (English), or 1-800-4APAGON or 1-800-427-2466 (Español).

 Weather-related updates for Durham Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) facilities, recreation centers, programs and events can be found on DPR’s website, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Updates will also be available on DPR’s weather line at (919) 560-4636.

 A decision on the collection of curbside trash and recycling for Monday, January 9 will be made early Monday morning after an assessment of street conditions, and if the landfill that accepts the City’s trash will be open. Residents are asked to leave their carts on their curb by 6 a.m. on their scheduled collection day in the event collections can proceed. If collections must be suspended due to road conditions, residents should leave their carts at the curb.