Snow delays schools, leaves some slippery roads

Posted March 3, 2010

— The wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain that moved eastward across North Carolina changed over to mainly snow overnight, coating cars and causing slick roads in some areas.

A woman died in Duplin County when she lost control of her car in the snow and hit a tree, authorities said.

No more accumulation was expected, and most of the snow that has fallen will start to melt during the morning, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

In anticipation of slushy roads, several school systems, including those in Wake, Durham, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Franklin, Hoke and Wilson counties, were operating on a two-hour delay Wednesday morning.

Lee and Chatham county schools were closed Wednesday.

Wake County public schools also will released one hour early Wednesday afternoon so teachers can participate in their weekly planning meetings, officials said.

Snow covers Lee County roads Snow covers Lee County roads

Sleet and snow were reported throughout central North Carolina late Tuesday into early Wednesday.

Viewer Renee Thompson in Benson said she and her husband measured more than 4 inches of snow in their yard.

Progress Energy reported several thousand outages in counties including Chatham, Harnett, Duplin, Sampson and Johnston counties.

Slick roads cause wrecks

Slick roads were reported around U.S. Highway 1/421 in Lee County early Wednesday. Only one lane was passable on U.S. 1 as of 4:30 a.m. Deputies said a number of wrecks had occurred in the area, but no one was injured.

In Chatham County, some drivers were sliding off roads and getting stuck due to slick conditions. There were four wrecks as of 3:30 a.m., troopers said.

Wilson County had about four minor wrecks in the eastern part of the county as of 3 a.m., deputies said.

In Duplin County, a woman was killed late Tuesday when she lost control of her vehicle on N.C. Highway 403.

Troopers said Maria Flores, 44, of Mount Olive, lost control because it was snowing so hard. She hit a tree and died at the scene. Her 18-year-old son, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was not seriously injured.

The wintry mix caused some problems in Nash County, where 2 inches of snow fell by 9 p.m. Tuesday. The state Highway Patrol responded to more than a dozen wrecks there during the evening commute.

“I hit a piece of black ice that I didn't see and lost control of the vehicle,” Matt Richert said after wrecking his vehicle on U.S. Highway 64.

Cars were covered in snow in Wilson County on March 3, 2010. Wilson County sees flakes

U.S. Highway 64 in Nash County was particularly troublesome as cars slid into ditches and guardrails, keeping tow truck drivers busy.

“I love it. Somebody’s got to capitalize (on the snow). Might as well be me,” said Al Staton, with Advantage Towing.

Elsewhere in the state, troopers said they responded to 217 calls Tuesday in a 14-county region surrounding Raleigh. There were no reports of serious injuries.

On Western Boulevard in Raleigh, a car lost control in the snow and hit a utility pole Tuesday night, authorities said. No one was injured.

Troopers responded to about 161 traffic wrecks across the Triangle overnight, the Highway Patrol said. Several involved vehicles stuck in ditches.

The Highway Patrol in Fayetteville saw about 40 wrecks Tuesday night. No serious injuries were reported.

The wintry conditions extended to the coast, where the Coast Guard had to rescue two people from a disabled sailboat in the Albemarle Sound.

A man and woman aboard the 26-foot sailboat Griff called for help Tuesday evening after losing power. They had been blown off course and said they feared the boat would capsize in 3- to 5-foot seas and 20-knot winds, authorities said.

Boats from Elizabeth City and Oregon Inlet responded, and Currituck County 911 operators were able to provide an approximate location of the disabled boat. The Elizabeth City crew was able to find the boaters after about two hours, and they were taken to Alligator River Marina for treatment of minor injuries.

Weather to warm in coming days

Flurries were still falling around 4 a.m. Wednesday in the Triangle.

Sleet coated Fayetteville and Raeford, while viewers in Enfield, Shoeheel and Whitakers saw snowflakes late Tuesday.

Greensboro reported about 3 inches of snow early Wednesday, while Winston-Salem had 2 inches. Durham had about an inch and a half, and Raleigh had about an inch.

"Oh my goodness, it's very strange that it's snowing a week before spring break,” Duke University student Tyler Atwood said.

“I’m ready for springtime. I’ve had enough of this snow,” North Carolina State University student Courtney Fox said.

The snow will likely be out of the viewing area by noon. Wednesday will be breezy, cold with rain sprinkles possible.

"If you are tired of the snow and the cold ... Saturday and Sunday look brighter and warmer, with temperatures in the upper 50s to low 60s," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.


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  • Lerxst Mar 3, 2010

    They need to change county-wide school closures/delays to city/town or event per-school delays/closures. There may have been quite a considerable amount of snow in NW Wake County prompting a delay, but the roads were completely clear in Cary.

    This is another advantage of neighborhood schools because a school can remain open since it won't have to worry about busing kids in from an area where the roads are bad.

  • Remy Mar 3, 2010

    If you always go with the theory that it is not goig to snow, you are going to be right most of the time due to our region. The weather team is just here to alert you of possible snow. If they didn't warm you, then you would certainly be on here wanting to know why they didn't tell you. If you do not believe in them, why do you continue to read their forcasts?

  • time4real Mar 3, 2010

    my skills avergaged far better than your team this year I assure you.

  • Remy Mar 3, 2010

    t4r - I tried to congratulate them many times yesterday

    Your comments must have been burried in the normal negativity that no one could decipher the compliment. You also said winter was over yesterday, and once again it was not true. Your meteorololgy skills are impressive. NOT.

  • time4real Mar 3, 2010

    on a secondary note, wral reported last night that there will NOT be an early release today. so which is it wral? do we leave our kids at school or take a chance on them standing on the curb for 2 hours without their parents?

    this is what I was trying to get at last night, that never got posted, we expect accurate info, if we can't get here we'll have to go elsewhere.

  • Deacons Mar 3, 2010

    what snow!!!!! this is unbelievable!

  • time4real Mar 3, 2010

    CONGRATS wral, you went 4 for 12 this winter. not bad I guess.
    NOW winter is O'Fishely over. ;c )

    I tried to congratulate them many times yesterday, but golo didn't like the fact that the truth wasn't very flattering to their reporting yesterday. oh well, there's always spring storms. ;c )

  • Bellamia Mar 3, 2010

    Yall need to take a deep breath and sing with me-
    Here we go
    "Nothing could be finer then to be in Carolina in the Morning"

  • Jimm57 Mar 3, 2010

    Had 4" of white stuff on my car this morning! I swear if I have to wake up one more day this month to snow I'm not getting outta bed.

  • Remy Mar 3, 2010

    Journey - t4r will not be round today. Yesterday he said "Get over it folks, winter is done". So, I am sure t4r will not be on to congratulate the WRAL team for another win!