Local News

Wintry Mix Spreads Across Triangle; Another Batch Expected Overnight

Posted January 30, 2005

— Winter weather hit the Triangle again on Saturday. The area saw a mixture of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain. However, another dose could come overnight with the possibility of icy roads and power outages.

A

winter storm warning

is in effect for much of the eastern Piedmont of central North Carolina, including

Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham, Person, Franklin, Warren, Lee and Moore

counties.

WRAL is estimating that some areas may see a greater amount of ice accumulation during overnight, which may result in

power outages

. If your city or town is listed in the area or nearby, you are urged to be cautious.

  • No Impact areas (little if any ice accumulation):

    Goldsboro, Rocky Mount, Wilson, Clinton, Tarboro

  • Low Impact areas (less than .25'' ice accumulation):

    Fayetteville, Smithfield, Roanoke Rapids, Nashville, Lillington

  • Medium Impact areas (up to .25'' ice accumulation):

    Raleigh, Warrenton, Southern Pines, Sanford, Louisburg

  • High Impact areas (somewhere betweeen .25'' to .50'' ice accumulation):

    Chapel Hill, Durham, Pittsboro, Oxford, Henderson, Roxboro

  • Areas from Charlotte north to Davie County reported the first signs of the winter storm just after sunrise, said the National Weather Service in Greer, S.C.

    Freezing rain and snow pushed into the Triad by midmorning, where 1 to 3 inches of snow was expected along with the freezing rain.

    The state Highway Patrol in Catawba County reported numerous accidents on slick roads throughout the 10-county region it patrols, though no serious injuries were reported.

    Freezing rain was falling at noon in mountain counties including Buncombe and Cherokee, where authorities urged drivers to use caution on the slippery roads. No major accidents were reported.

    Up to 6 inches of snow was possible in the northwestern mountains.

    In the eastern counties, the forecasts called for rain and possibly some snow. Some ice was possible along the west side of the Interstate 95 corridor.

    The weather threat was significant enough that the state Democratic Party canceled a Saturday meeting in Raleigh to elect a new chairman.

    Elsewhere, some college events and basketball games were postponed or moved up because of the threat.

    Power Crews Poised To Respond

    Power companies urged customers to check their flashlights and batteries and make sure they have an ample supply of bottled water and nonperishable food items on hand in case of outages that could last several days.

    "If you have any elderly members of the household or someone with special needs, you should start thinking now about alternative arrangements if you have a power outage," Duke Power spokeswoman Valerie Patterson said.

    "If you have any elderly members of the household or someone with special needs, you should start thinking now about alternative arrangements if you have a have power outage," Patterson said.

    Nancy Thompson, a spokeswoman for Progress Energy, said extra line repair and tree cutting crews were coming to western North Carolina to be on hand if there was significant icing.

    About 100 Progress linemen from Florida would be staged in Florence, S.C., in case they were needed, said spokeswoman Julie Hans.

    "We have strike teams on call in the eastern part of the state," Hans said. "We have been through enough of these winter storms to know they can change very quickly. We are planning for the worst case scenario and if it happens we'll be ready."

    City trucks in Asheville were being loaded and crews were readying for the storm.

    North Carolina DOT officials worked with Raleigh city officials to make sure they treated roads before any snow and ice arrived in an attempt to avoid a repeat of last week's traffic chaos after an inch of snow fell.

    "We want to make sure we both have the tools we need to work with," said Elwood Davis, street superintendent for the city of Raleigh. "We want to make sure ... we do have an overlap, but not a lot. We don't want to have a half-mile stretch of road that is not covered."

    The DOT also said more than 6,000 employees were on standby and that crews already had treated bridges, overpasses and parts of major highways west of Interstate 95.

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