Local News

Hundreds of Accidents Reported As Snow Falls Across NC

Posted January 17, 2000

— The state Highway Patrol says that officers from Troop C, which covers 12 counties including Wake and Cumberland, has responded to about 300 car accidents since the roads became slick from falling snow around 3 a.m. this morning.

The frozen precipitation is tapering off, but the wet roads will likely freeze tonight, making the Wednesday morning commute difficult.

Across much of North Carolina, the snowy weather has forced someschool systems to close, including Wake, Cumberland, Durham, Orange, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Wayne, Johnston, Nash-Rocky Mount, and Moore County Schools. Visit ourclosings and delays pagefor a complete list.

Viewer and Visitor ReportsViewers have e-mailed meteorologist Mike Maze with reports of about two to three inches of snow in: Cameron, Coats, Dunn, Spivey's Corner and Spring Lake.

Ray Dotson e-mailed WRAL OnLine with this note: "I have a fairly elaborate digital weather station which shows a temp of 30.9F with 1 3/4 inch of snow apparently beginning to taper off, winds varying from 2-5 mph. I live on the upper lake of Sleepy Creek Club in Dudley, NC (Goldsboro)."

OnLine visitors in the Micro area of Johnston County report 2 1/2 inches of snow, just enough for the kids and animals to enjoy.

Hillsborough viewers report an inch and a half, and Garner is reporting about an inch. Four Oaks is reporting about 3/4 of an inch.

In Fayetteville, the snow is beginning to taper off as well. Schools are closed, Fort Bragg is closed, and the clerk of courts has canceled court for Tuesday.

ForecastThe snow started falling around 3:30 a.m. in the viewing area, covering the roads and creating limited visibility.

Awinter weather advisorywas canceled this morning, but the potential for snow continues. As the snow tapers off, it is mixing with some freezing rain and sleet.

The temperatures will continue to be low throughout the day, so even though the precipitation will end, the roads will remain a problem.

The melted snow is expected to freeze into ice Tuesday night, and the roads will probably not thaw until Wednesday afternoon, when temperatures are expected to rise above freezing.

Rain is expected for Thursday and then some dry, warm weather is on its way. Road ConditionsTheDOTis already preparing for the expected freeze Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The trucks are out trying to scrape off the roads; they expect to start spreading chemicals again later today.

Bridges and overpasses are the greatest concern, and there are reports of cars skidding off the roads and multiple fender benders.

There have been hundreds of accidents in the 12-county area that includes Cumberland and Wake, with no serious injuries reported.

The best way to stay safe is to stay home, of course. If you have to drive:

  • Clean snow and ice off your car before you leave home. It will increase your visibility and protect other motorists from flying debris.
  • Drive slowly and allow extra time to get to your destination.
  • Keep a safe following distance between your vehicle and the next closest one. Some people find it easiest to stay several car lengths apart; others find it easiest to stay several seconds apart. In either case, do not follow cars too closely. One wrong move can create a chain reaction.
  • Never slam on your brakes if you hit a patch of ice; it only makes the skid worse.
  • If you do get into an accident because of the ice, stay in your car and call for help. Don't get out and assess the damage; don't try to direct traffic around your call. Too often that causes other accidents and endangers the accident victim.

    WakeMedspokesperson Michelle Mastri says the emergency room is beginning to fill with people injured in car accidents. AirportsRaleigh-Durham International Airportis open, but spokesperson Mike Blanton says there have been a few cancellations, and the delays are beginning to back up. Anyone who needs information is encouraged to call the airlines directly, not the airport. Airline phone numbers are available on the RDU Web site.

    Fayetteville Regional Airport had some delays Tuesday morning, but they have since plowed the runways. Flights to Atlanta and Charlotte have been taking off as scheduled.

    UtilitiesThere are no power outages due to the weather in this part of the state, although there may be some power lines down due to accidents.

    Carolina Power & Lightis reporting some outages in the western part of North Carolina.

    Phone lines have been jammed however. So even though there are no outages, you may have problems getting an open line or getting through to someone on the other end of the line. BellSouth suggests you avoid using phones -- including cell phones -- and computers unless it is absolutely necessary.

  • Comments

    Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

    Oldest First
    View all