Icy roads linger; some schools still closed - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

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Icy roads linger; some schools still closed

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Snow accumulation from the storm Snow accumulation from the storm
Snow on a road as a bus makes its way. Snow on a road as a bus makes its way.
2 inches of snow in Spruce Pine, NC (Viewer photo) 2 inches of snow in Spruce Pine, NC (Viewer photo)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV/AP) - Subfreezing temperatures turned some roads in western and central North Carolina into skating surfaces, causing treacherous conditions for commuters Monday.

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State transportation officials cautioned that patches of snow that melted in western North Carolina on Sunday would be icy Monday morning following overnight lows in the 20s.

Highway crews in western North Carolina worked to get secondary roads clear of snow and downed trees ahead of the Monday morning commute. Crews had cleared the interstates and numbered state roads in much of the region by Sunday morning.

The state's major utilities were working to restore power. Early Monday, about 25,000 Duke Energy and Progress Energy customers in the western part of the state were without electricity.

With Friday's snow headaches in areas affected by the weather, the weekend arrived in time for people to get out and play -- or just dig out -- in deep snow that fell in many parts of western North Carolina.

Overnight temperatures Friday night didn't bring much if any snow to Charlotte and snow was over -- except for a possible stray passing shower in the mountains -- which meant time to recover from or just go out and experience the nearly foot of snow dumped in some areas.

Still, Friday did bring its share of problems as a major winter storm moved through the western part of North Carolina, bringing with it hundreds of traffic accidents, closings and airport delays.


 

About 25 weather-related wrecks were reported Friday in Charlotte, which was spared much of the accumulating snow or sleet. Many vehicle wrecks were reported in the foothills and mountains as a result of the snow on Friday with nearly 200 in one snowed-in county. Dozens were sprinkled throughout counties in the region.

Friday night I-77 north in Iredell county was a mess for over four hours. The Highway Patrol told WBTV's Tom Roussey a tractor trailer had trouble getting up a hill near exit 49. It shut down the highway and caused a backup that at times stretched ten miles. Traffic finally started to clear up late Friday.

A rain/sleet/snow mix led to numerous other accidents along 77 in Iredell as well. At exit 36 in Mooresville cars and trucks had trouble getting up a hill at the exit thanks to ice, especially during evening rush hour.

Especially heavy snow was seen near Asheville, where 2 inches fell in 30 minutes Friday morning. Morganton had about 7 inches of snow and Hickory ended up with several inches, too.

In Lenoir and Caldwell County, where snow was especially thick, more than 170 car wrecks were reported by 3 pm this afternoon, according to WBTV's Kristen Hampton, who is in the area.

Calls to Statesville and Morganton found only a half-dozen wrecks in each of those towns.

Callers from Hildebran, near Hickory, and from Maiden saw sleet and snow were falling their areas. Snow also fell heavily in Burke County. WBTV's Steve Ohnesorge said the snow was heavy in Morganton -- where it ended up at nearly 9 inches on Friday afternoon.

The storm lead the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Storm Warning for areas from I-40 northward for Friday morning through Saturday. South of I-40, counties around Charlotte are in a Winter Weather Advisory for the same time period.

The snow started early in some places Friday: A caller from Hildebran, near Hickory, said that sleet started falling at 7:30 a.m. and that it fell for about an hour. Then, it turned to snow, which was falling at 9 am. The snow is extremely heavy and is already on the ground and roads, the caller said.

In Asheville, well out of our area, 4 inches of snow fell by 10:30 a.m. with 2 inches falling in just a half hour.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools released news around 12:15 pm that they will operate Friday under a normal schedule. But, because of concerns about inclement weather this evening, all after-school activities, including evening athletic events and practices, have been canceled.

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