Salt, sun help, but some schools need another day to thaw

Posted January 25, 2016
Updated January 26, 2016

— Triangle-area school systems, in anticipation of forecast snow and ice, closed on Friday, and buses and buildings sat all weekend while the winter weather raged.

The result on Monday morning varied from Johnston County, where schools opened after a two-hour delay and most roads were clear, to Granville County, where the high schools remained socked in. Closings and Delays Closings & Delays

Although Sunday's sun contributed to some melting, temperatures dipped into the 20s early Monday, refreezing slushy school bus routes, especially in rural areas.

In Wake County, most schools started the day with pesky patches of ice.

"It is slippery right now. When we got here early this morning we started throwing salt it, trying to break it up. We'll see what happens," said Dr. Gregory Decker, principal at Sanderson High School.

Officials with the Wake County Public School System said about half of the system's 157,000 students ride the bus, and they didn't want to risk their safety. Jeff Nash, a spokesperson with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, echoed the sentiment, saying timing is everything when it comes to canceling classes.

Wake County maintenance crews spent Monday clearing sidewalks and plowing parking lots. District spokeswoman Lisa Luten said that progress would contribute to a decision on whether they'd be prepared to reopen Tuesday.

Durham Public Schools, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and districts in Granville, Person, Chatham and Warren counties, among others, will be closed at least through Tuesday. Several others, including Wake County Public Schools, chose to operate on a delay Tuesday morning.

Fifth grader Luke Ledford and his dad, Don Ledford, who is a teacher, were not disappointed to have another day off together.

"I think its a good decision because some of those kids catch a bus in the dark, and lot of the back roads are still bad," Don Ledford said.

The Ledfords spent the day mud-sledding, employing a boogie board when a sled was too heavy for the fast-greening hills.

In Johnston County, about 1,000 disgruntled parents signed an online petition protesting the decision to hold classes.

In the car pool line, Joanna Grasso praised the efforts of local cleanup crews.

"The town did a good enough job in preparing for it, putting down the spray that they have for the roads," she said. "Maybe there is a problem with the side roads, but I don't even think there was really a necessity for a delay."

"We want our students in school," said district spokeswoman Tracey Peedin-Jones.

She empathized with families still waiting for their power to be turned back on but pointed out that 90 percent of the power outages reported over the weekend in Johnston County had been restored.

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  • Rodney Hill Jan 26, 2016
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    Speaking for Wake Co.:

    It's really sad that 4-5 days after a snow/ice event (that wasn't even that bad) we still cancel school...and it was 50 degrees and sunny out...

    And in other news, hundreds of thousands of triangle residents drove to work Monday without incident. I guess we should hire some of them as bus drivers...