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Warm Temperatures, Sunshine Melt Remains Of Winter Blast

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Life is slowly getting back to normal across the Triangle as warm temperatures are helping to thaw the lingering ice from the weekend's wintry mix

Utilities reported all customers who lost power because of the sleet and freezing rain that fell over the weekend were back on line, and temperatures crept into the 40s in many parts of the state. No more rain was expected until Friday, when temperatures were forecast to be well above freezing.

Despite the melting ice and warm temperatures, Vance County schools will be


on Wednesday. Several schools, such as Chatham, Wake, Franklin and Northampton County schools, along with Durham Public Schools, will also operate on a two-hour delay.

Up to 3 inches of sleet fell Sunday in the Piedmont section of North Carolina, while 1.5 inches of freezing rain fell n the mountains and foothills. That made traveling dicey, although major interstates were clear by Monday. By Tuesday, the state Highway Patrol reported it had investigated 119 accidents between midnight and 9:30 a.m.

By comparison, troopers responded to more than 1,000 vehicle collisions between midnight and 9 p.m. Monday, or more than twice the normal total for a Monday. Troopers responded to more than 2,000 calls Sunday.

Many of the airports in the Northeast resumed operations to the relief of weary travelers trying to get to their destinations.

Mike Moneypenny, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Raleigh, said the cold, damp air mass that hovered over North Carolina for the past few days will move north as a dryer air mass pushes in from the west. That air mass will break up cloud cover and allow the sun to shine through in much of the state.

"The big difference is that (melting ice) will evaporate once it melts rather than just sit on the ground with no place to go," he said Monday night. "So the roads should dry out (Tuesday), no problem."

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