Winter Wonderland sticking around for the weekend

Walking in a winter wonderland this weekend might not be the best idea, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures are expected to stay below freezing until Monday and wind chill factors are expected to dip below zero degrees at times on Saturday and Sunday.

Officials said that exposed skin at these temperatures can cause frostbite in about 30 minutes.

Icy roads and a shortage of road salt means driving in a winter wonderland is not the best idea either, according to city and state officials.

Police Chief Mark Holtzman said that 17 accidents were reported in Greenville since the snow started on Wednesday night and advised that people stay off the roads if possible through the weekend.

North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) crews applied about 600 tons of salt since Wednesday night and are expected to use another 500-600 tons this weekend.

NCDOT engineer Jordan Davenport said crews were running low on salt on Friday and had to wait for additional supplies to be brought to Pitt County from Wilmington.

Davenport said that the NCDOT expected snow and ice on the roads through the weekend because plows are having a difficult time clearing ice from the roads in sub-freezing temperatures.

Kevin Mulligan, director of Public Works, said more than 200 tons of salt will be used by the end of the weekend and crews would be focusing on Greenville’s secondary roads during the weekend.

However, multiple water leaks in the past 48 hours closed down several roads in the city.

Water main leaks caused road closures on parts of Charles Boulevard, East Fifth Street and Forest Hill Drive.

Greenville Utlities CEO Tony Cannon said the breaks occur when the ground shifts in cold temperatures and caused the iron water pipes to snap.

“That is something that happens during really cold weather, like what we are dealing with right now,” Cannon said Thursday.

The National Weather Service is forecasting warmer temperatures on Monday with highs in the 50s.

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