Life began returning to normal in the Triangle following the weekend’s storm, as rising temperatures melted ice and snow and more school systems prepared to reopen Tuesday.
Overnight air temperatures stayed above freezing, but cold road surfaces caused predawn black ice in spots, police agencies said. In Raleigh, Falls River Avenue north of Durant Road near Durant Road Middle School had problems, police said, as drivers going at regular speeds hit black ice.
The National Weather Service issued a warning to drivers across the Triangle to be careful and to pay special attention to ramps and bridges.
The Johnston County school system, which had reopened Monday before other school systems, will be on a normal schedule Tuesday. The Wake County school system will reopen Tuesday on a three-hour delay.
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system announced Tuesday morning that it will remain closed, a change from what was going to be a three-hour delayed opening.
Wake County school officials said they would monitor conditions throughout the night. But as of 5 a.m. Tuesday, school officials said schools were still on schedule to open on a three-hour delay. Crews will be at at a few schools that need remaining work before classes begin.
“We’ve had plows out cleaning our parking lots,” said Lisa Luten, a Wake County schools spokeswoman. “We’ve had our maintenance staff clearing the sidewalk and paths for our parents and students.”
However, conditions hadn’t improved enough to reopen Tuesday for the school systems in Durham, Orange, Chatham, Franklin and Granville counties. Most area school systems were closed both Friday and Monday.
Chrissy Deal, a Durham schools spokeswoman, said there were “still a lot of secondary roads, sidewalks and parking lots that are covered in ice. We didn't feel a delay would be enough, so this is the safest decision.”
However, Durham looked ahead to reopening Wednesday, saying schools would operate that day on a regular schedule instead of the originally planned half-day.
In other signs of a return to normal conditions, fewer people reported power outages Monday and cancellations were down at Raleigh-Durham International Airport compared to Friday and Saturday. Cancellations on Monday mainly affected flights to and from airports in Washington, D.C., and the Northeast, including New York, Newark, Boston and Philadelphia.
Temperatures reached 52 degrees Monday and were forecast to higher Tuesday, helping efforts by state Department of Transportation crews and school employees to clear the snow and ice that had accumulated Friday and Saturday. The National Weather Service reported that the storm dropped as much as 1.9 inches of snow and four-tenths of an inch of ice in parts of Wake County.
“We’re all hopeful that these temperatures will give the extra push that’s needed to clear things to get them back to normal,” said Mike Charbonneau, a state DOT spokesman.
DOT crews were working throughout the Triangle. Charbonneau said about 70 employees and 100 trucks were stationed in Wake County Monday to clear secondary roads and state-maintained roads in subdivisions. He said 5,700 tons of salt have been spread in Wake County alone because of the storm.
“This has been a tough storm, especially with all the ice that came down,” Charbonneau said.
Charbonneau said DOT will have crews available to go out Monday night or Tuesday throughout the Triangle if new slick spots arise.
The rising temperatures also aided utility workers.
Jeff Brooks, a Duke Energy spokesman, said crews worked Monday on some of the harder-to-restore service areas, places where the power lines may be remote or serve small numbers of customers.
As of 6:30 p.m. Monday, outages were down to 339 customers in Johnston County, 226 in Wake County and 48 in Franklin County. Brooks said the goal was to have power restored to all customers by 11 p.m. Monday.
More than 60,000 area residents and businesses had been without power Saturday evening. “We’ve made significant progress in restoring power,” Brooks said.”
Staff writer Ron Gallagher contributed to this article.