Icy roads, frozen parking lots prompt Wake schools to close Wednesday
Posted 10:10 a.m. Tuesday
Updated 10:29 p.m. Tuesday
Raleigh, N.C. — With school parking lots and carpool lanes still covered in ice, Wake County Public School System announced it will remained closed for a third day on Wednesday.
Wake Forest, in the northern part of the county-wide school system, is the biggest problem, spokesperson Lisa Luten said Tuesday morning.
"In Wake County, many students attend a school outside their base school/neighborhood school. This means students might be crossing towns to attend a magnet school or a school they transferred to for other reason," Luten said. "The same is true for teachers. Many teachers and staff work in schools that aren't near their homes but still in Wake County."
Principals and custodians checked on school buildings Monday to make sure the heat was working well enough to welcome back students and teachers, Luten said. They would again be on the properties Tuesday and would factor into the decision on whether another snow day is in the offing for Wednesday.
Durham, Johnston and Orange counties and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools also canceled classes for Wednesday.
Warmer weather on Tuesday hastened the meltdown. Temperatures topped out above freezing by noon on the way to a forecast 70 degrees on Friday.
Luten pointed out that, on a normal school day, buses begin their rounds at 4:45 a.m. Even a three-hour delay would still put them on the road before the heat of the day and during the morning commute, she said.
But Lindsey Spell said she is enjoying her time off.
"It has been fun to play and I like to make snow angels on the ground," she said.
Wake County posted a detailed list of make-up days based on the various school calendars on the school system website. Students on traditional calendars will make up Monday, Jan. 9, on Friday, Jan. 27, Tuesday, Jan. 10, on Monday, Feb. 20, and Wednesday, Jan. 11 on Friday, Mar. 31.
Students on a traditional calendar in Durham will make up Monday on Jan. 23, Tuesday on March 27 and Wednesday on April 17. Details for other calendar schedules are also posted online.
For a full list of public and private school closures and delays, check out WRAL.com's closings page.
Trooper unsurprised by another snow day
Trooper Michael Anderson has worked the roads since Friday and, through the snow and ice, has seen a lot.
"I have seen a lot of vehicles sliding off of the roadway into the ditch," he said.
More recently, Anderson has also seen improvement. Sunny conditions and the hard work of road crews have cleared many major roadways, but when some school districts called for another snow day on Wednesday, Anderson said "I am not surprised."
Anderson said while some parts of the Triangle appear to be essentially back to normal, many places are not.
"In the northern part of Wake County, a lot of these back roads and subdivisions especially, the roads have not been touched," he said.
One spot in Raleigh looked like it hadn't been scraped at all, Anderson said.
"You can be driving along, it is completely dry, you turn the corner and it is a sheet of ice," he said.