Local News

Triangle Hit With Second Round Of Winter Weather

Posted February 26, 2004 11:40 a.m. EST

— Heavy snow blew across North Carolina late Thursday in the second wave of a winter storm that closed school systems and businesses statewide and

forced President George W. Bush to scrap a visit to Charlotte.

A foot or more of snow was forecast overnight in Mecklenburg and nearby counties. About half as much was falling in other parts of western and central North Carolina, the National Weather Service said.

Snow was falling in the Triangle and swirling above it around 11 p.m. Thursday, fewer than nine hours after the first wave of snow had dropped.

The NWS warned of episodes of intense snowfall across the Piedmont, with high winds that could blow deep drifts over roads and sidewalks.

A winter storm warning was in effect for much of the state through noon Friday.

Some of the heaviest precipitation Thursday was in the Sandhills, in the south-central part of the state. Snow fell at 2 inches per hour, reducing visibility to a quarter mile, in Hoke and Cumberland counties, the weather service said. Fort Bragg schools and other facilities were closed.

The storm dropped 3 inches of snow on Asheville and most of western North Carolina.

Closings & Delays:

Some schools have announced plans for Friday. Cumberland County, Duplin County, Harnett County, Hoke County, Johnston County and Sampson County schools, along with Fort Bragg schools, will be closed Friday.

Major school systems in the WRAL viewing area cancelled classes or sent students home early Thursday.

RDU International

was open Thursday with just a few flights cancelled.

Click here

for a complete list of closings and delays.

Road & Travel Conditions

Conditions in Fayetteville forced Fayetteville Regional Airport to close at 11 a.m.

The city and Fort Bragg have suspended operations

due to the inclement weather.

Fort Bragg officials said the post will also be closed Friday. Key and mission essential personnel need to report to work Friday at normal duty hours.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro is closed to non-essential personnel.

The Highway Patrol is

urging citizens to use caution

while driving Thursday and Friday as roadway conditions continue to deteriorate.

The Department of Transportation said salt supplies used to treat roads are in short supply due to recent storms. The DOT typically has 2,000 tons at the start of a storm, but currently has 700 tons. A shipment is not expected to dock in Wilmington until Friday. Fayetteville sent 500 tons of its salt supply to Raleigh.

DOT crews are hopeful warmer temperatures will help melt much of what accumulates on roads. Overnight, DOT crews treated roads with calcium chloride.

The Forecast:

The weather service predicted light to moderate rain throughout most of the coastal region Thursday night, possibly mixed with snow in parts of inland Pender County as well as in Columbus County.

Highway crews worried that road slush might freeze overnight, making driving dangerous through Friday morning.

The state Department of Transportation said road conditions were deteriorating early Thursday evening, especially in areas south of Interstate 40 and west of Interstate 77.