Snow threat gives students an afternoon at home

Posted December 18, 2009

— Thousands of students were headed home and road crews were headed to work Friday ahead of a winter storm system that is already bringing snow to central North Carolina.

Many school systems in the Triangle planned to close early Friday. After-school activities and sporting events were also canceled across central North Carolina.

See all closings and delays.

"It was a pretty easy decision," said Mike Gilbert, with Orange County Public Schools. "You always want to keep the safety of students in mind. We take the necessary steps to make sure of that."

Parent Cyndy Mishoes said driving didn't concern her but she looked forward to some extra time with her daughter.

"I'm not worried about road conditions. I'm glad school let out early. We're going to have the rest of the afternoon together," Mishoes said.

"We'll just maybe make Christmas cookies and hang out at home," said parent Vickie Moore.

Statewide, Department of Transportation crews began prepping roads for the storm Wednesday. In the Triangle, DOT crews spread an anti-icing salt-brine mixture on major interstates and highways. Local transportation crews did the same in towns and cities.

Check out traffic conditions.

Some drivers said the first sign of salt is enough to keep them off the roads, while others said they are prepared to take on a little snow.

"I'm very cautious about going out, because I know what the conditions can be," driver Carol Newman said.

"I have an SUV, and it's all-wheel drive if I have to use it," driver Jay Schmitt said. "So that helps."

Winter weather driving tips

In Raleigh, a DOT staff of nearly two dozen is on standby for the weekend.

"It's going to be a lot of work for the guys here, a lot of long hours," DOT engineer Jason Holmes said. "We're prepared for it. We do it every winter."

Raleigh-Durham International Airport's snow and ice control plan will be activated once precipitation starts, officials said. The airport won't close, and airlines will make decisions individually about flight cancellations.

Holiday travelers are urged to contact their airline before heading to RDU.


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  • Mean Old Mom Dec 18, 2009

    Got a call from the YMCA that because the WCPSS was closing, the YMCA after school programs would be closing too. I was alerted around lunch time and called the school to verify. There was no snow falling when I called.

  • time4real Dec 18, 2009

    "Let's err on the side of caution so that we don't have another incident like that year."
    if people here would learn how to drive there wouldn't have been an issue then! or any time!

  • CanesGrrrl Dec 18, 2009

    Ksh33, I'm glad you remember that year. I was a senior in high school when that happened. The teachers rushed us out the door to avoid us getting stranded. Even getting out early, so many people had a time getting home even if they lived nearby. Like I said, if they close early and nothing happens, people complain. If something happens and they keep kids in school, people complain. I'm like you. Let's err on the side of caution so that we don't have another incident like that year.

  • time4real Dec 18, 2009

    "Perhaps you were not involved when the ice trapped hundreds of students and staff members ate school 4 years ago."
    I know! Wasn't that a joke! Wouldn't you be embarrassed if you were one of those people who spent up to 10 hours sitting on 40! All over 1/4" of what ever it was! That was the most irresponsible bunch of people I've ever seen!

  • ksh33 Dec 18, 2009

    Jimid 8 - since you have complaints about the NC public school systems, why don't you join us with your solutions!

  • ksh33 Dec 18, 2009

    Cbcreative, let me warn you that you would have one more thing to complain about if they had closed schools and your child was off the entire day. Since it is a problem with your driving to pick up "your child" early from school, I can only imagine the incovenience if you had them ALL day, and God forbid if nothing actually happened. Perhaps you were not involved when the ice trapped hundreds of students and staff members ate school 4 years ago. I had to stay there with kids and it was not fun. Not to mention the number of parents who were stranded on the side of the road for hours trying to pick up their little ones. I rather they err on the side of safety. Oh, and another thing to complain about, if they had cancelled school today as you suggested, that would be one day that your child would have to make up instead of being out as scheduled......just something else to add to your disdain list for WCPSS!

  • juchushu Dec 18, 2009

    My daughters teacher called all of the parents in her classroom to make sure that we knew.

    And CBCreative ... shut your face. Would you rather it start pouring snow and ice and you wreck trying to get your child to or from school? Honestly, grow up and be a better parent.

  • TRivers Dec 18, 2009

    They don't learn anything in the NC Public School System anyway so an afternoon at home is no big loss.

  • Nancy Dec 18, 2009

    It scares me to read in the article that one person with an SUV and four wheel drive actually thinks they will need it?!

    Heaven help anyone who shares the road with that person and those like it.

  • CanesGrrrl Dec 18, 2009

    I know everyone thinks that the way school systems fuss over the smallest amount of snow is laughable. Yet, people forget what happens on those occasions where they don't and something crazy happens. I remember back several years ago when it started snowing, and the schools didn't close until later in the day and there were kids stuck at schools overnight. Parents went into a frenzy.

    Since it is hard to predict winter weather in this area, people are darned if they do, and darned if they don't. If schools want to close, and it keeps kids from spending the night in their schools on the off chance that something big happens, then I'm all for it. If nothing happens, well, be glad your kids are home safe and enjoy the extra time with them.