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Schools Gear Up for Foul Weather, Just in Case

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RALEIGH — Weather forecasters says the Trianglemaybe in for some icy weather by early Thursday, with snow predicted forareas west and north.

But WRAL-TV Chief MeteorologistGregFishelsays this weather event will be nothing like last year's icestorms. Whatever snow or freezing rain falls should melt by afternoon inthe Triangle and areas east and south.

Fishel says the frozen stuff could startjust after 12a.m. Thursday, possibly starting as light snow before changing to freezingrain in the Triangle. The precipitation should switch over to rain byearly afternoon, with the exception of areas to the north and west,including Roxboro.

With visions oflastyear's winter weatherstillfresh in many minds, area school systems are making sure they won't getcaught unprepared.

They have plenty to do before the first ice or snow falls. Areatransportation chiefs told WRAL-TV5'sYvonne SimonsTuesday that whilethey've askedbus drivers to get mentally prepared and placed inclementweather teams on call, they've also had some busy mechanics. This year,drivers don't want to get caught with frozen wipers and fuel lines, frostywindows, or bald tires.

Wyatt Harper, transportation director for theWake County schools, saysno oneexpectsreally bad weather this week in the Triangle, but it pays to be prepared.

Wake County mechanics are giving buses a checkup. Everyonewants to make sure that defrosters, heaters and windshield wipers are inworking order, so mechanics go all over, and under, each bus.

Parents can count on WRAL-TV5,MIX101.5 FMand WRALOnLine for the latestweather forecastsandschooldelays and closingsduring inclement weather. Students and parents areaskednotto call school offices, which need phone linesfor emergency communications.