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Storm closes schools, slicks roads

Posted February 5, 2010

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— Orange, Granville and Person county schools closed as sleet and snow slickened the roads Friday morning, causing at least 15 wrecks in Orange County alone.

A storm started sweeping across North Carolina Friday morning, bringing a wintry mixture of sleet, snow and rain across central and eastern counties. Sleet fell as far south as Hillsborough, Cary and Fayetteville, while northern areas around Roxboro saw more snow.

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Orange County schools closed around 7:30 a.m., while Granville and Person counties were initially opening two hours late, but decided to close later in the morning. (See all closings and delays.)

Person County Commissioner Kyle Puryear said that most roads are covered with snow and ice. He urged residents to use extreme caution if they had to travel. Two inches of snow fell on the county, then switched over to heavy sleet.

Orange County school bus driver Lynn Benturini said she saw snow sticking to roads when she left for work. By the time she arrived at the bus barn, she said, schools had been closed.

In Granville County, four wrecks happened along a slushy stretch of Cash Road in an hour. No major injuries were reported, but Tyambi Crews' SUV ended up in pond.

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Tyambi Crews said she was driving at about 30 mph along Cash Road, heading home to Creedmoor.

"I didn't think the road was that bad," she said. "I just started spinning. I (went) spinning twice, then I ended up sliding into the pond."

Another driver stopped and pulled Crews out of the pond. "Physically, I'm OK," she said. "It's just that I was scared, very scared. I never had an accident like that before."

Nearby, on U.S. Highway 15-501, another SUV smashed into a utility pole. The driver was OK.

A state Department of Transportation truck came out to spread salt on Cash Road.

The state Highway Patrol said that they were responding to 15 wrecks in northern Orange County around 10 a.m. A number of wrecks occurred along Interstate 85, between Hillsborough and Efland. Minor injuries have been reported.

Many of the wrecks involved cars running off the road and striking guardrails or trees, according to the Highway Patrol.

Rain prevented DOT crews from spreading an anti-icing, salt-brine mix on roads before the storm, so they responded to trouble spots as they appeared on Friday.

Some DOT salt barns are less than 20 percent full following last weekend's storm. By itself, Wake County spread more than 22,000 tons of salt during that storm.

Wake County officials said they have received between 200 and 300 tons of salt daily since last Saturday and have enough on hand to treat roads this weekend if necessary.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Geez Louise Feb 5, 2010

    I sure hope Sir Walter Wally was right; otherwise, anyone up for some woodchuck stew?

  • time4real Feb 5, 2010

    hey, there's a storm, oh wait, but no where near here. wheeeeeeeew, dodged another snow bullet. thank goodness, the "viewing area" couldn't handle 2 in 5 years!

  • magsgundah Feb 5, 2010

    "And if you're going to sit here and tell me that a 2wd vehicle handles the same as a 4wd vehicle in 2-3 inches of snow than you've never experienced both types of vehicle in snow..."

    They don't, but FWD vehicles go just fine in 2-3" of snow.

    Two to three feet of snow, is different, but 3" of snow is absolutely passable in pretty much any car.

  • 93mastercraft Feb 5, 2010

    Another SUV off the road. For some reason they don't think the laws of Physics apply to them.

    But I have a 4X4 SUV, I can go as fast as I want. These big tires and all the weight I have will help me get though the Ice and snow much better than a car. I feel real safe in my SUV. It provides more protection than a car does. I don't have to worry about a thing.

  • PlanetX Feb 5, 2010

    TWC - OMG, I remember that wreck - so incredibly sad. With kids of my own now, I usually don't complain when the school system seems overly cautious. There's a reason for it.

  • BearPWN Feb 5, 2010

    guitar88 - thank you... i dont know how someone could post that comment about 2wd vs 4wd. Literally all week long I have cruised in 2wd and just throw it in 4wd when i run in to a slippery situation, such as a parking lot or neighborhood street. The 4wd kicks in and keeps me on my way while i watch 2wd cars continue to slip. I dont know what the 4wd bashers base their info off of... power being distributed to 4 wheels as opposed to 2 (in reality only one) is going to give you better traction, period end of paragraph.

  • wildcat Feb 5, 2010

    Good. Too bad job don't close for the safety of their employees. Look at the unnecessary wreck on the highways and roads. Some people think they can drive on ice and snow, but then the wreck happens and they wish they had not driven at all.

  • time4real Feb 5, 2010

    it's a blizzard Auntie Emm! NOT!!!

  • batricia1 Feb 5, 2010

    well at least person county didnt lose our DOT trucks to durham this time

  • cm64 Feb 5, 2010


    Which state has never closed their schools on account of snow? Do tell?

    Oh, and the roads are open last I checked. Some sleet making a spot of the road icy isn't the fault of NCDOT.