Local News

Weather-related Problems Mount

Posted February 3, 1996 6:00 a.m. EST

— February 4, 1996, 6:22 p.m. EST

As people try to cope with the severe cold, and the snow and ice mix on the roads, there are reports of weather-related problems and accidents.

The ice and snow also have forced many schools to cancel classes Monday, including public school in Wake and Durham counties as well as Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools. With little or no melting expected until Tuesday, moredelays and closingsare likely this week.

In Fayetteville, two Greyhound buses going north decided to stop their run because the roads ahead were too icy. That left more than 60 people stranded at the downtown bus station. The Red Cross helped many passengers find rooms at local motels. Some had to spend the night in the bus station.

Also in Fayetteville, a sanding truck found out just how slick the roads were yesterday. Making its sixth run down 301, the truck hit an icy patch, tipped over and dumped the entire load of sand. The driver was not hurt.

Two people died yesterday afternoon when their car slid into an icy creek in Scotland County. Rescuers tried to save them, but the slippery conditions and frigid water proved to be too much.

Overnight, more than 300,000 people across North Carolina were without power. Crews continue to work to restore electricity, but ice-laden limbs continue to snap and trees to fall, creating additional outages. Pine trees are particularly susceptible to snapping, because their growth habit creates bushiness at the top of the tree, where the ice collects and overburdens the trunk's and branches' capacity to support it.

Anyone venturing outdoors in North Carolina for the next few days is cautioned to dress in layers and to stay dry. Frostbite occurs faster when wetness is added to the cold. If you are driving, be sure to take along a blanket, some sturdy walking shoes and to dress warmly. Sometimes drivers forget that if they have car trouble or an accident, they need to be just as warmly dressed as someone shoveling snow or as kids going sledding.

Some symptoms for the early stages of frostbite include a pale discoloring of the skin, and a burning, uncomfortable sensation that can lead to numbness. If you have been outdoors for an extended length of time without proper clothing and you think you may have frostbite, contact a doctor.

To enable people relying on battery powered radios to bring them the latest weather information, WRAL news will be simulcast on our sister station, MIX 101.5 FM. The next reports will be at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Sunday. And be sure to check thelist of closings and delays, which also is being shown on WRAL-TV5.