Sleet, freezing rain cover Salisbury streets after winter storm

Sleet, freezing rain cover Salisbury streets after winter storm

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Streets and roads in Salisbury and Rowan County looked as if they were covered with snow Monday night, but looks can be deceiving.  It was actually a thick coating of sleet and freezing rain.

The storm came into the county just after 2:30 pm. There was snow in some places, then it gradually turned into a mix of sleet and freezing rain that fell over the next few hours.

Driving conditions turned treacherous.  There were several accidents on Interstate 85, as well as Highway 601, and on many side streets and rural roads.

It was exactly what Rowan Emergency Services Director Frank Thomason had warned about earlier in the day when meeting with local leaders.

"Our main problem is going to be the ice secretion that will start around 7 pm as the snow transitions to a brief period of sleet and then to all freezing rain around 9 pm," Thomason said.  "The freezing rain will continue throughout the night until about 5 am with a total possible ice accumulation of .36 inches, that's a little over one third of an inch of ice.”

Late Monday night a few customers and workers at the Food Lion on Statesville Boulevard walked carefully from the store to their cars.

"Got to go about three miles down past Hurley School Road," employee Chris told WBTV.  "Shouldn't drive, but you got to do what you got to do, you know?"

Pete Joseph had a last minute turn to make to the grocery store and made it just before the store closed.

"Real slick out, pretty slick, coming down fast and even," Joseph told WBTV.  "Definitely had to make a quick run up here, they're shutting down in the next 15-20 minutes, if you haven't gotten your groceries or something you're going to be pretty much out of luck, you know."

Much of the ice is expected to stick around with high temperatures struggling to get above freezing for the next couple of days.