FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kate Luck
Corporate Communications & Marketing
City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and agency partners share preparations for inclement weather
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 21, 2016)- The City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and its agency partners advised the community Thursday to prepare for inclement weather conditions and potential changes to services with a winter storm arriving Friday.
Charlotte Area Transportation System (CATS)
- CATS is operating on a regular schedule for buses and LYNX trains. CATS will observe street conditions overnight and run trains on LYNX tracks to keep them free of ice and snow.
- CATS will watch weather reports to determine if and when the CityLYNX Gold Line will operate. A determination will be made before the start of service in the morning.
- Special Transportation Service will operate as scheduled.
- CATS will treat station platforms, park and ride lots and other CATS facilities with sand and ice-melting products. However, surfaces may still be slippery. Please use caution when accessing CATS facilities. The safety of CATS passengers and its employees is top priority. Worsening conditions could bring about delays, detours and other service changes.
- Transit passengers should go to ridetransit.org before leaving their homes to check for information on their specific route. Ridetransit.org will contain the most up-to-date information. Passengers can also call 704-336-RIDE (7433). Wait times for information may be delayed due to heavy call volume.
Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT)
- The Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDOT) continues to treat area bridges, culverts and selected streets with salt brine.
- Crews will be working overnight to treat roads.
- City Street Maintenance crews will be working in 12-hour shifts starting at 7 a.m. Friday through 7 p.m. Saturday.
- Roads will be evaluated throughout as conditions change and work will be adjusted as needed.
- Report icy conditions to CharMeck 311 or street maintenance at 704-336-3200. Dial 911 for emergencies or accidents.
- Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians are advised to be cautious when near trucks treating roads and to leave extra space between them and other vehicles.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport/Aviation
- Passengers should contact their airline regarding their flight status.
- The Airport has initiated its irregular operations plan to respond to any stranded passenger and/or terminal impacts. This includes coordination with airlines, concessions and TSA.
- The plan also includes opening the airport's snow desk and activating 12-hour rotating snow teams to respond to treat runways, taxiways and landside areas.
- CLT conducted multiple meetings with its partners to synchronize/coordinate the snow/ice control protocols.
- CLT's contractor is prepared to commence de-icing operations when needed.
- Due to the anticipated inclement weather, CharMeck 311 will open Saturday from 7 a.m. -3 p.m.
- If callers are out of city limits, they can contact 311 by calling 704-336-7600.
- We will also keep our upfront recorded message updated with the latest city information.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD)
- CMPD has not shifted or altered any staffing levels at this point but has an inclement weather contingency plan in case weather conditions warrant.
- CMPD urges the community to avoid the roadways if at all possible as weather conditions begin to intensify.
- For those who must drive, be sure to increase following distance between your vehicle and vehicle in front of you and decrease speeds. Traffic light outages at intersections should be treated as four-way stops.
- Community can receive real-time traffic alerts and notifications by going to the CMPD Twitter traffic account at @QCTrafficAlerts.
- The community is urged to use 311 for non-emergency calls for service. 911 is an emergency line only for emergency purposes. 911 should never be tied up for non-emergency calls.
Solid Waste Services
- Solid Waste Services operated on a modified schedule this week due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Thursday and Friday customers will be picked up on Friday. If inclement weather delays pickup, customers should leave carts out until they are collected.
Charlotte Fire Department (CFD)
- CFD has added additional staffing through Saturday in anticipation of increased call load.
- CFD reminds the community that alternate heating sources such as portable space heaters must be used properly. Keep anything flammable – including curtains, furniture, bedding and individuals at least three feet away.
- Do not use charcoal or gas grills to heat homes because they can cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless.
- CFD encourages the community to check carbon-monoxide detectors and smoke alarms to make sure they are working correctly.
- Charlotte Water staff is available 24/7 to assist with water or sewer emergencies. Please call CharMeck 311 (704-336-7600) and select the Charlotte Water option to report an emergency.
- Charlotte Water also advises residents to protect their water pipes from extreme cold:
- Insulate pipes in unheated parts of your home
- Seal any openings or air leaks in crawl space or basement
- Open doors on cabinets below sinks to allow warmer air to circulate around plumbing at night
- Disconnect your garden hose from your outdoor spigot
- Unplug automatic lawn sprinkler systems
- For road closures, water outages and other construction related updates please follow Charlotte Water on Twitter @cltwater.
- Visit charlottewater.org for additional information on preventing frozen pipe.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS)
- CMS will work with other city and county agencies to monitor conditions so we can make the best decision about our schools and employee work schedules for tomorrow. Our goal always is to make the best decision possible for students and staff, and make those decisions in a timely manner so families and employees can make appropriate arrangements.
- We will use our parent and staff notification systems, the CMS website and mainstream and social media platforms to send notifications as soon as a decision is made.
- Mecklenburg County staff will continue to monitor the changing weather conditions and make a decision on whether county offices will be open.
Mecklenburg County Courts
- Mecklenburg County Courts are still scheduled to be open at this time. If court is cancelled due to inclement weather, that information will be shared and rescheduling information will be communicated.
- The community is encouraged to keep an eye on closings reported through media outlets.
CRVA, Center City Partners, Duke Energy and American Red Cross also shared information with the community about events planned for the weekend. The community is encouraged visit their websites for more information.