Published: 2010-02-03 11:48:00
Updated: 2010-02-04 00:36:29
Posted February 3, 2010 11:48 a.m. EST
Updated February 4, 2010 12:36 a.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Sunshine and warmer temperatures on Wednesday helped melt some residual ice and slush from the weekend winter storm that dropped up to 8 inches of snow and ice across the area.
Temperatures warmed to the upper 40s and lower 50s across central North Carolina.
State Department of Transportation crews in Wake and Durham counties worked to finish clearing ice from all roadways they are responsible for on Wednesday.
Though main thoroughfares were clear, many school officials across the Triangle canceled or delayed classes on Wednesday because of concern about muck, snow and ice on side streets and secondary roads.
Wake officials said a low percentage of the county’s schools were prepared to allow students back on Wednesday.
At schools like Garner High School, workers used shovels to clear snow from sidewalks and parking lots.
"I would have thought they'd be farther along than that," Garner parent Jamie Woodlief said.
Woodlief stayed home from work this week to spend quality time with her 9-year-old daughter. She thought schools would reopen Tuesday.
"I'm ready for her to go back to school and I'm ready to go back to work," she said.
On Wednesday, 15 maintenance employees for the 159 schools in the district were out clearing snow-covered walkways and ramps to portable classrooms, according to schools spokesman Greg Thomas.
Some parents have criticized the county's response as slow, even suggesting budget cuts may have played a role in the response.
"I think the crews have responded appropriately with the resources they have. I don't think it was an issue," Thomas said Thursday.
Wake County schools will reopen after a one-hour delay on Thursday. Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Halifax, Orange, Person, Vance and Warren county schools will open on two-hour delays.
Edgecombe and Johnston county schools will operate on a regular schedule Thursday.
As the snow melts, however, meteorologists are already eyeing a storm system headed to the area later this week.
Late Thursday, precipitation is expected to begin as a wintry mix. By Friday around 7 a.m., WRAL chief meteorologist Greg Fishel said, the mixture, which will mostly be rain, will head out.
Highs on Friday are expected to be in the upper 30s.