Local News

Snow day brought play, but driving difficulties, too

Posted January 20, 2009 4:37 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— A snowstorm that lasted 12 hours in some locations dumped upward of 6 inches of the white stuff across North Carolina Tuesday.

School and businesses stayed closed, and children and pets romped outdoors, enjoying the snow day. By Tuesday evening, it seemed that several would get another play day on Wednesday, too.

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For those who did venture out, the roads presented a slippery challenge as the snow piled up. Troopers, sheriff's deputies and police departments stayed busy responding to crashes on highways.

WRAL viewer Julie Starling reported a scary drive through Southern Pines Tuesday morning.

"I slid all over the roads this morning trying to get to Carthage. (There is) ice under the snow on ALL side roads!!" she wrote.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport had canceled 100 flights before the day was done, and reported 60 more delayed. Crews spent the day de-icing the airport's runways and planes. Operations there were getting back to normal Tuesday night, a spokeswoman said, urging travelers to check with their airline for the most up-to-date information.

RBC Center organizers decided at 3 p.m. to postpone the Celine Dion concert scheduled for Tuesday night. All tickets will be honored Wednesday. Those who can't attend the rescheduled concert can exchange tickets where they bought them for a refund.

Tuesday's winter storm came during an auspicious – or infamous – time for snow in the Triangle.

Four years ago to the day, between 0.5 and 2 inches of snow that fell on central North Carolina caught everyone by surprise.

Cars and trucks pressed the wet snow down into ice, as often happens, and roads clogged up with workers and students going home early. Some commutes lasted more than eight hours. About 3,000 Wake County students were stranded at schools overnight.

Five years earlier, on Jan. 25, 2000, the region got its heaviest snowfall ever, 4 inches shy of 2 feet.