Wintry dousing threatens Tuesday morning commutes

rgallagher@newsobserver.com, akenney@newsobserver.comMarch 3, 2014 

  • School delays, closings on Tuesday

    Wake County: 2-hour delay

    Durham County: closed

    Johnston County: 2-hour delay

    Orange County: closed

    Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools: 3-hour delay

    Chatham County: 3-hour delay

    Franklin County: 2-hour delay

— Delay or cancel?

The Triangle’s third winter event of the year had parents groaning and schools and businesses weighing their options late into Monday night as a wintry dousing of ice and rain covered roads, and temperatures far below freezing promised a slick morning commute.

By 9 p.m. Monday, Orange County Schools and Durham County Schools called off Tuesday classes entirely, while Wake, Johnston and Franklin county schools opted for a two-hour delay. Chatham County and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools announced three-hour delays.

Most local school systems closed several hours early Monday afternoon as the first local reports of ice began coming in.

“There’s a light glaze or a thin glaze on cars and elevated surfaces,” National Weather Service forecaster Katie Dedeaux said Monday afternoon.

At 8:30 p.m., the State Highway Patrol in Raleigh confirmed more than a dozen weather-related crashes, and more calls were coming in, a dispatcher said.

The precipitation was expected to clear overnight, but weather officials predicted the storm system would leave between a half-inch and an inch of snow and sleet, creating a glaze of ice from the Triad to the Triangle.

Although the Department of Transportation trucks had applied brine to battle ice, weather officials warned that even treated roads could be dangerous if the sleet comes down faster than the brine can melt it.

The storm affected air travel along the East Coast, with airports in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington canceling hundreds of flights and snarling schedules of connecting airports.

Tuesday should be clear and cold, with high temperatures reaching to only about 36 degrees. The rest of the week should see gradual warming but not the near 70-degree weather enjoyed in the Triangle on Sunday.

 

Gallagher: 919-829-4572 Kenney: 919-829-4870

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