Below freezing temperatures in Hickory stopping officials from treating roads



A freezing rain warning has been issued for the Hickory area but below freezing temperatures have city officials there on hold when it comes to treating the roads.

People in Hickory already ready for what’s to come on Saturday.

“Long pants, wearing long sleeves, I’m used to t-shirt shorts and flip flops,” Rusty Place said.

“The way it is today with the yucky weather coming and ice on the roads that’s definitely not something I’m a fan of for sure,” Melissa Dingee said.

“It’s really cold out there today,” Place said.

City of Hickory Public Works Assistant Director Steve Miller spoke with FOX 46 Charlotte why the low temperature is stopping any treatment.

“We are not putting brine down because the temperature have not risen enough to let us,” Miller said.  

Brine is a mixture of rock salt and water and if it’s put on the roads when it’s below 32 degrees, the water portion would freeze causing slicker roads.

“It definitely worries me with people out on the roads shopping for the holidays, it sounds like there’s a possibility for a lot of accidents,” Dingee said.

If the forecast starts as rain and then temperature dip, that can become another issue.

“If you have the brine down, it can dilute the brine mixture and wash it off,” Miller said.

The city is continuously checking the forecast so they can act at a moment’s notice.

“It changes so much and so quick you just have to pay attention. I mean this time of year i am watching my weather as much as i am doing anything,” Miller said.

Even though the freezing rain isn’t here yet, the colder weather is already hurting business at the Square in Hickory.

“Before this cold weather hit they would sit outside and we had some additional chairs next door but we are finding today that people just do not want to get out,” Owner of Charlie Graingers Lisa Hamby said.

The City of Hickory public works has people working overnight waiting for the temperature to get high enough to be able to treat the roads.

“We are ready, we just have to see what Mother Nature brings,” Miller said.

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