Weather

Most schools close as advisories issued for icy roads

Posted February 1, 2010 4:09 a.m. EST
Updated October 20, 2011 9:24 a.m. EDT

— Most school systems across central North Carolina were closed Monday due to the lingering snow and slick road conditions.

The National Weather Service issued winter weather advisories until noon Monday for 31 counties across the central part of the state, including the Triangle area and Cumberland County, because of the threat of icy roads.

The snow that began melting Sunday refroze overnight as temperatures dropped into the teens across the region – and near 10 degrees in counties north of the Triangle, WRAL meteorologist Kim Deaner said.

The melting and re-freezing will occur before a cold rain moves across the region on Tuesday.

"I hope you had a chance to get out and enjoy the snow, because it will begin to melt (Monday)," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

Monday's forecast calls for plenty of sun, and high temperatures will reach about 40 degrees.

"A lot of the sun's energy is going to be used up to melt the snow, so temperatures are going to hang in the upper 30s to around 40," Deaner said.

The low temperatures were a concern for the approximately 26,000 homes and businesses across the state without power Sunday afternoon, down from 41,650 on Saturday. 

Duke Energy reported the bulk of the outages, with more than 17,000 outages in Jackson, Macon and Swain counties alone. The company said it expects the power will be restored to its customers no later than 11 p.m. Tuesday.

'Stay home and stay safe'

North Carolina Department of Transportation urged motorists to stay off the roads Monday so that workers can continue to clear the snow, sleet and ice that fell over 24 hours across the state.

State Department of Transportation engineer Jason Holmes said the combination of precipitation that packed on the roadways will make it "very difficult to get that to break loose from the pavement."

Wake County road crews spent Sunday focusing their attention on Interstate 40, Interstate 440 and Interstate 540, and they worked on portions of U.S. Highway 1, U.S. Highway 64 and U.S. Highway 264. They have barely touched secondary roads, DOT spokesman Steve Halsey said.

"It could be several days before we get the interstates cleared up and go onto our secondary routes," Holmes added. "There is potential of a lot of dangerous situations, even Monday morning."

Raleigh Streets Superintendent Chris McGee also urged motorists to be careful.

“In the morning, all those wet spots will be black ice,” he said.

Gov. Bev Perdue urged people to "stay home and stay safe" for another day to let road crews continue to keep clearing the roads.

School officials took the message to heart, with Wake, Durham, Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Chatham, Cumberland, Harnett, Johnston, Franklin and Orange county school systems, among others, announcing they would be closed Monday.

North Carolina State University canceled classes until noon Monday, while the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill won't start classes until 10 a.m. Duke University will hold all classes as scheduled.

State offices will be open Monday, Perdue said, adding that state workers can come in late or take the day off if they feel travel conditions are unsafe. She said, however, that workers would have to make up the missed time.

"I don't want, as the state's governor, anybody taking unnecessary risks trying to get to work, but again, there is no free pass," she said.

Triangle Transit not servicing some areas Monday

Triangle Transit will begin bus service at 7 a.m. Monday, which means buses will be at their first stop on a route at 7 a.m. However, due to unsafe road conditions, it will be unable to serve portions of most bus routes:

102 Route
The 102 route will not serve Jones Sausage Road (ConAgra Foods).

105 Route
The 105 route will not serve the District Drive Park-and-Ride. Riders should use the Fairgrounds Park-and-Ride, located at the corner of Blue Ridge and Trinity roads, and get on/off the bus at the stops on Blue Ridge Road.

201 Route
The 201 route will not serve Pleasant Valley Drive (Golds Gym) or Townridge Shopping Center. The bus will stay on Millbrook Road to Glenwood Avenue. Riders can get on the bus at the stop on Glenwood Avnue (in front of McDonald’s).

301 Route
The 301 route will not serve Donaldson Nottingham drives. Riders can get on/off the bus at either Walnut Street or Buck Jones Road.

305 Route
The 305 route will not serve Edinburgh Drive. Instead, the bus will travel on U.S. Highway 64 between Lake Pine Plaza and Tryon Road.

311 Route
The 311 route will not serve Hunter Street and Old Raleigh Road in Apex. The bus will travel on U.S.  Highway 64 between Galaxy Foods and Lake Pine Plaza.

402 Route
The 402 route will not serve any stops between downtown Durham and RTP. This includes all stops on South Roxboro Street, Lawson Street (NCCU / Durham Tech), Cornwallis Road and Davis Drive.

403 Route
The 403 route will not serve any stops between downtown Durham and RTP. This includes all stops on South Roxboro Street, Lawson Street (NCCU / Durham Tech), Cornwallis Road, and Davis Drive.

412 Route
The 412 route will not serve Davis Drive and Cornwallis Road.

413 Route
The 413 route will not serve any stops in the South Square Area. This includes all stops on Westgate Drive, University Drive, Old Chapel Hill Road, and Southwest Durham Parkway. The bus will stay on U.S. Highway 15-501 from Cameron Avenue, all the way to New Hope Commons.

500/550 Express Routes
The 500/550 express routes will not serve the District Drive Park-and-Ride. Riders should use the Fairgrounds Park-and-Ride, located at the corner of Blue Ridge Road and Trinity Road, and get on/off the bus at the stops on Blue Ridge Road. In addition, the 500/550 express routes will not serve stops on Faircloth Road (Meredith College), nor will it serve the Eubanks Park-and-Ride in Chapel Hill.

600/650 Express Routes
The 600/650 express routes will not serve the District Drive Park-and-Ride. Riders should use the Fairgrounds Park-and-Ride at the corner of Blue Ridge Road and Trinity Road and get on/off the bus at the stops on Blue Ridge Road. In addition, the 600/650 express routes will not serve stops on Faircloth Road at Meredith College.

RTP Shuttle 47
The shuttle 47 will not serve N.C. Highway 54, Alexander Drive or Cornwallis Road. The shuttle will provide drop-off only service to the RTI area of Cornwallis Road.

RTP Shuttle 49
The a.m. shuttle 49 will not operate.

Triangle Transit encourages riders to be extra cautious when boarding and alighting vehicles as many area sidewalks and roadways remain slippery. Customers may experience significant delays as road conditions dictate the ability of drivers to maneuver their vehicles.

Visit triangletransit.org or gotriangle.org for the latest updates; or call 919-485-RIDE (7433), but be prepared for extremely long wait times as they anticipate a high-call volume.

Four storm-related deaths reported

At least four deaths over the weekend were attributable to the storm.

Mark Walston, 21, of 1315 Clingman St. in Goldsboro, was walking along U.S. Highway 70 in Wayne County near the Johnston County line when a DOT snowplow struck and killed him at about 6:45 p.m. Saturday. The incident remains under investigation.

An unidentified man in Surry County suffered a fatal heart attack after shoveling snow outside his house.

The Associated Press reported that a Charlotte man also suffered a fatal heart attack while shoveling snow, and a 55-year-old Gastonia man died Saturday night after falling in the snow while taking a nighttime walk in a wooded area near his home.

Snowfall totals varied

Snowfall totals varied widely – from more than 11 inches in Asheville to less than an inch in Manteo. The official tally at RDU was 5 inches on Saturday.

"Some locations in our northern counties did get 10 to 12 inches of snowfall Saturday," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

Greensboro reported 7 inches, but Fayetteville got only about an inch-and-a-half. At Hyco Lake near Roxboro, a viewer reported 8 inches of snow on the ground. Snow in Warren County totaled 7.5 inches, Roanoke Rapids saw 5 inches, Sanford got 2 inches, and Smithfield got 4.

The National Weather Service off Centennial Parkway in Raleigh reported 5 inches, and WRAL meteorologist Nate Johnson measured about 5 inches in the parking lot at WRAL during the noon hour Saturday.