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Icy Roads To Blame For Fender-Benders, School Delays Across Triangle Area

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DURHAM, N.C. — Power was restored to about 16,000 utility customers in North Carolina by Monday after icy weather struck, but slick roads made commutes to work dicey in central and western areas of the state.

Numerous wrecks were reported overnight and throughout the morning.

A

Durham man died

when the pickup truck he was riding in slid on a patch of ice and collided with another pickup truck on South Miami Boulevard near Stirrup Creek Drive.

Officials in Durham responded to a number of fender-benders, including a multivehicle wreck along a northbound lane of the Durham Freeway. Three people were injured.

Officials also reported problems along most Interstate 540 exits in Wake County and Highway 64, Interstate 95 in Johnston County and in Lillington.

Schools were closed in Person County because of road conditionsand other school systems in central North Carolina counties delayedopening.

A school bus wrecked in Johnston County, but no students wereaboard it.

Officials shut down a portion of Interstate 77 in Charlotteafter a series of traffic accidents were caused by ice on the road.The highway was reopened, but not before traffic came to astandstill.

In the Asheville area, a few traffic accidents were spotted, butno major tie-ups were reported. Highway crews spread salt and sandon slick spots early in the morning.

Duke Power spokeswoman Rose Cummings said about 13,000 outages --a third in Guilford County -- were restored.

Progress Energy spokeswoman Julie Hans said the utility's 3,000outages in North Carolina also were restored by late Sunday.

Two inches of sleet fell in Watauga County. The storm alsodropped ice and sleet to the north-central part of the state. Abouta half-inch of ice glazed trees in Guilford County Sunday morningand Piedmont-Triad International Airport reported an inch of sleeton the ground.

The National Weather Service had issued a "black ice advisory"Sunday night, effective through daybreak Monday, warning thatresidual moisture on roads had frozen during the night.

"Black ice is a thin sheet of ice that is difficult todistinguish from wet spots on highways at night," the weatherservice said, adding that the most dangerous areas were overpassesand bridges.

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