Some school districts cancel class Monday due to icy road conditions

Updated:

QUICK HITS:

  • Some local school districts have canceled class for Monday, CMS has not made a decision
  • A State of Emergency remains in place for all NC counties
  • Gov. Nikki Haley has declared a State of Emergency in SC
  • CDOT crews plow, cover roads with salt to battle black ice on roads

The concern over snow and sleet turned to icy roads Sunday morning as temperatures plunged.

The temperatures dropped to the teens from Saturday night into Sunday morning. Any snow and ran that fell Saturday is now frozen. The biggest concern is black ice. Temperatures will only reach the freezing mark in Charlotte.

In the mountains, the temperatures will be stuck in the teens, but the wind will make it feel much colder. It could feel like below 20 at times in the mountains.

The Huntersville Fire Department was busy responding to a handful of calls before the sun came up Sunday. It even said it was 14 degrees when firefighters responded to one call in the morning. They said none of the crashes were serious. 

The sunshine on Sunday will help to melt some of the snow and ice, but because the temperatures will will drop again overnight, icy spots will still be a concern Monday morning. The possible refreeze on roads forced some schools to cancel class on Monday.

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Temperatures will warm to the mid-30s Monday under sunny skies. There will be a gradual warm-up later in the week, with temperatures expected to reach the 50s by Wednesday.


Minute-by-minute updates:

5:00 p.m.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools will be closed on Monday.

Union County schools will operate on a 2 hour delay.

Iredell County schools will be closed Monday but will have an optional teacher work day on a 3 hour delay. 

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2:20 p.m.

Cabarrus County, Gaston County, Ashe County, Kannapolis City, Mooresville Graded and Newton-Conover Schools will be closed Monday due to icy road conditions.

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1:54 p.m.

Burke County Schools will be closed Monday due to winter weather conditions.

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1:12 p.m. 

Caldwell County Schools announced no school Monday due to single-digit temperatures and ice covered roads. It is an optional planning day for employees.

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12:35 p.m. 

UNC Charlotte announced classes will resume on Monday. The university will continue reduced operations until 12 p.m. Monday.

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11:55 a.m.

The superintendent for Rowan-Salisbury schools announced school is closed Monday and Tuesday for students. Optional teacher workday with option to work from home.

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11:45 a.m. 

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport released its final winter weather update: 

  • The Airport remains open and operational. Staff is working with our partners to assist customers.
  • Many airline flight schedules have returned to normal at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Some cancellations, however, are reported for today.
  • Due to continued weather conditions related to this winter storm in other parts of the country, customers are advised to continue to check with their airline in regard to the status of their flight before leaving for the Airport.
  • CLT’s three parallel runways are open. Runway 5/23 was closed Friday for de-icing operations.
  • De-icing of aircraft is underway. CLT has de-iced 12 aircraft as of 10:30 a.m. today. More than 100 planes were de-iced Saturday. Approximately 70 planes were de-iced Friday.
  • Airport maintenance crews continue working to clear the airfield of snow and ice. 
  • Charlotte Douglas remains under its irregular operations plan to respond to any stranded passenger and/or terminal impacts. CLT accommodated more than 1,000 passengers in the terminal overnight. Cots, blankets and pillows were distributed.

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11:12 a.m.

Northlake Mall announced it will re-open Sunday after winter weather caused it to close Saturday. The mall will open at noon and close at 6 p.m. 

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8:38 a.m. 

The number of Duke Energy customers without power in Belmont has grown to more than 1,600. Duke reports that the outage was caused by damage to its equipment. It estimates that power will be restored around 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

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8:12 a.m.

A car crashed into a light pole at Albemarle Road and Winterhaven Drive in east Charlotte. Utility crews and police are on the scene. MEDIC said one person was treated for minor injuries and take to CMC.

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8:05 a.m.

South Carolina Department of Transportation gave an update on its winter storm report. Crews worked overnight in York county and will continue de-icing operations Sunday as necessary.

It released an update on how much crews have used to combat the snow and ice on the roads.

  • 311 Maintenance employees actively involved with road operations
  • 6,180 Tons of Salt
  • 891 Tons of Sand
  • 16,870 Gallons of calcium chloride
  • 802,968 Gallons of salt brine
  • 164 Equipment in use

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7:30 am

Icy conditions caused a crash on Wilkinson Boulevard and Old Dowd road in west Charlotte. Channel 9 saw MEDIC transport one person to the hospital. It's not clear how seriously that person was injured.

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7:15 am

Duke Energy is reporting nearly a thousand people in the Belmont area are without power. Duke said the power should be restored by 9 a.m. Sunday. Channel 9 is working to find out what's causing the outages in that area.


Watch Vicki Graf and Christine Rapp's Facebook live on current weather conditions


Thousands left in the dark after snow storm

Duke Energy crews worked to restore power for thousands of customers who lost it after a sleet and freezing rain fell Friday night into Saturday morning. By Sunday morning, Duke Energy reported less than 100 power outages in Mecklenburg and Union counties, which saw the most on Saturday.

Lower snow totals in Charlotte means more ice on the roads and a bigger threat for crashes and more power outages.

As of 1 p.m Saturday., nearly 13,000 people were without power in Mecklenburg and Union counties after crews said the sleet and freezing rain snapped trees and power lines.

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Channel 9 was in Union County and visited a neighborhood along Potter Road, where more than 1,300 homes and businesses lost power. Some of the families told Eyewitness News that they're huddling together, trying to stay warm.

"Yesterday was crazy trying to find jackets,” said Erika Sala. “We went to five stores and we finally found one. Everything was sold out -- Burlington, Target, everywhere."

Salas has two daughters, and the family had just moved to North Carolina from Florida, so she said their new coats and a fire burning inside are the only things keeping them warm.

"We're not used to this weather since we just moved here from Florida, so we're just trying to cope with the coldness,” she said.

Union and Mecklenburg counties were two of the hardest hit areas for outages in North Carolina, and crews estimated they wouldn’t have everyone’s power restored until 9 p.m.

(Click PLAY for 5 severe weather hacks)

Those without power told Channel 9 that if it isn’t restored when temperatures start to drop again Saturday night, they'll need to go somewhere else, like a hotel, to stay warm.

Temperatures in the next few days are expected to be frigid, and some may try to stay warm by using space heaters or other heat sources that produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced by heating fuels such as heating oil, propane, natural gas, kerosene or wood.

Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can cause sickness or death. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, nausea and vomiting, confusion and symptoms that may present as typical flu-like feelings.

Some carbon monoxide safety tips include:

  • Installing a CO alarm inside your home near all sleeping areas and testing it monthly.
  • Ensuring your appliances are operating properly.
  • Never using a kitchen stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Never using a grill, generator or camping stove inside your home, garage or basement.
  • Not using your car or motorcycle engine running inside a garage, even with the garage door open.
  • Checking on neighbors who may need assistance. 
     

Emergency crews respond to dozens of crashes on slick roads

Police across the Charlotte area responded to trees on top of power lines Saturday morning, which caused many of the outages. Emergency crews responded to dozens of crashes on the icy roads throughout the morning.

Heading into Charlotte, paramedics responded to 36 crashes early Saturday morning, the majority of them involving minor injuries caused by people driving too fast for conditions.

[IMAGES: Winter weather hits on Saturday]

Snow plow drivers have been busy on the interstates. The main roads have been cleared for the most part, but remain very wet, and could potentially freeze as the temperatures dip.

Neighborhoods and side streets around town were still snow-covered, and slushy and icy in some spots.

Paramedics responded to a crash off Billy Graham Parkway and Tyvola Road early Saturday morning, and told Channel 9 that an SUV slid off the road and crashed into the woods.

There were a few crashes reported on Interstate 485 caused by black ice, but fortunately nobody was hurt.

“It has been pretty widespread,” said Lester Oliva with MEDIC. “It's a lot of single-vehicle accidents, sliding off the road and those create a challenging environment.”

MEDIC said that while they will continue responding to crashes Saturday, they are also prepared to respond to calls at homes, and people who fall on the ice.

The city of Charlotte appeared to have fared well in the first winter storm of 2017. With temperatures expected to remain below freezing, however, melting will be slow to occur.

To help with vehicle traction in icy conditions, the Charlotte Department of Transportation began applying a salt/slag mixture to city streets overnight. CDOT crews are working in 12-hour shifts to salt and plow roads.

(Click PLAY for 5 car tricks to beat winter weather)

NC State-UNC game postponed to Sunday due to icy conditions

Winter weather and potentially dangerous road conditions have led to the postponement of Saturday night's rivalry game between No. 14 North Carolina and North Carolina State until Sunday.

In a news release Saturday afternoon, UNC said the game would be played at 1 p.m. Sunday. That comes after a storm brought snow and freezing rain to the area starting Friday night and running into Saturday afternoon.

UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement that school officials "are not comfortable with the idea that thousands of people ... would be leaving the arena tonight after 10 p.m."

While temperatures are expected to remain below freezing Sunday, Cunningham said officials "think there is a huge difference between driving in the daylight as opposed to this evening."

Getting outside and enjoying the snow

Those who live near Lincolnton saw a lot more snow overnight than they thought they would.

Road crews have been out along Highway 150 all morning, plowing the snow away and creating clear driving conditions on the main roads.

[SNOW PICS: Children and dogs enjoying the snow]

North Carolina Department of Transportation crews said that a lot more snow fell in Lincoln County than they had expected, but that they haven't had any major reports of problems on the roads.

Things were so clear that Channel 9 saw a lot of people outside, running errands and grocery shopping. Some of them said they planned to spend as much time outside as they could, enjoying the snow while they can.

"Love it, love it. We got a 7-year-old going out playing in it, making snow angels, we love it,” said one resident.

[SNOW PICS: Viewers sharing their winter weather pictures]

Road crews were happy to see the sun peek out from behind the clouds Saturday afternoon. They’re hoping it will melt the snow on the roads so that they can lay down more salt before Sunday's deep freeze.

Of course, no one is happier to see snow than children, who couldn't wait to get outside with their new sleds Saturday morning.

Channel 9 spotted dozens of children around town in full snow-tubing gear, including snow pants and heavy jackets.

Eyewitness News spoke with a family from Virginia who said they're maximizing the rare day in the snow.

“We don't get snow very often, every three or four years, so any time it snows, it feels like a snow day,” said Steven Dishman. “It takes me back to my childhood.”

(Watch a pair of black labs playing in the snow)

All Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools events are canceled Saturday and Sunday due to the ice and snow across the area, and so far, the winter weather hasn't had an impact on classes for Monday.

Union County announced all school and district activities were canceled beginning Friday night into Sunday.

In Lancaster County, all after-school activities on Friday, Saturday and Sunday have been postponed, which includes practices and any activity involving travel.

[CLICK HERE for full list of closings]

University of North Carolina-Charlotte administrators are telling students not to return to campus Saturday in order to give crews time to clear roads, parking lots and sidewalks around campus.

If you planned on shopping Saturday, all of the Charlotte-area malls opened around noon.

Concord Mills, the Charlotte Premium Outlets and SouthPark Mall all opened later than usual because of the storm.

Northlake Mall will remain closed Saturday.

Did you snap any photos or take video of the snow/ice? Send them to us at share@wsoctv.com or tag us on Twitter #CLTSnow and we may feature them on air and online!

More snowfall north of Charlotte

The rain/snow line shifted slightly northwest, which made a big difference in where the heaviest snow fell. The National Weather Service reported 10 inches of snow fell in Lenoir and the snow started to pick up in areas south of Charlotte around 9 a.m

In Cornelius, Channel 9 saw a few cars that slid off the road driving up along I-77, but no major crashes.

There was a lot of slush and some ice along roads in Huntersville and Cornelius, and we saw about 4-5 inches of snow on the ground there.

WINTER STORM COVERAGE: Friday's coverage of winter weather in Charlotte

For the most part, people were enjoying the winter weather, but they were also considering their own safety at the same time.


Winter Weather Guide: 


In Statesville, the sunshine was helping crews clear the streets, but it was also bringing out the traffic, which makes the work more hazardous.

Street crews were hoping to make a pass through all neighborhoods by the end of the day, and downtown was just about clear.

It was taking a little longer because the snow has to be moved to the middle of the streets so that trucks can haul it off.

Crews were also spreading salt in hopes of drying off the roads, and will begin spreading sand to help with traction in troubled spots.

 

Keeping travelers safe in the sky and on the road

The mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain was also keeping crews busy at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Many flights were canceled and delayed throughout the day and Channel 9 saw crews keeping the runways clear early in the morning.

Another runway remained closed so that other crews could de-ice the planes before they took off – the airport said they had 35 de-icing units in use.

[TRACK: Use our flight tracker to check on your flight]

The airport de-iced 70 planes on Friday alone, and has snow teams working 12-hour shifts.

DeltaAmerican AirlinesJetBlue and United Airlines have issued a travel alert for passengers, and said people flying out of Charlotte can reschedule their flight on Friday and Saturday without any fees attached.

Gov. Roy Cooper said crews will work around the clock to clean up from Saturday’s winter storm.

More than 2,400 DOT crews were on the roads at noon, removing snow and laying down salt and sand. They are using 1,500 vehicles equipped with plows.

From midnight to 6 a.m., the Highway Patrol responded to 260 crashes statewide.

Cooper said his main concern now has focused to the frigid temperatures moving in. He is also warning North Carolinians about alternate heating sources -- like generators.

“If you do use them, make sure there is proper venting around the sources,” he said.

Condition update from Charlotte Douglas Airport:

  • Runway 5/23 was closed Friday and will remain closed throughout the duration of the weather event for de-icing operations.
  • Approximately 70 planes were de-iced Friday.
  • De-icing trucks were on-site Saturday and prepared to conduct de-icing operations, if requested.
  • Airport crews treated and plowed the airfield throughout the night and will continue Saturday.
  • Currently, Runway 18C/36C is open.
  • Parking areas were treated Friday night and throughout the morning.
  • Airlines are reporting cancelations and delays throughout the day.
  • CLT continues to work with its partners and airlines.
  • Weather conditions are subject to change and travelers are encouraged to frequently check with their air carrier for any cancelations or delays.

LINK: Airport news on winter weather


Below are time-stamped updates as the winter storm hit the Charlotte area Saturday morning:

10:45 a.m.

Watch Vicki Graf and Christine Rapp's update on weather conditions in uptown 

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8:30 a.m. 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper gave an update on the weather conditions. He said that the roads are slick, creating dangerous conditions for drivers. He said there was one reported fatality in Granville County but it's still being investigated to determine if it's weather-related.

Cooper said the roads refreezing will be an issue as temperatures drop overnight. He urged residents to stay home and off the roads if they can. He said there are nearly 2,400 NCDOT employees working and nearly 1,500 vehicles out working to clear the roads.

The governor also urged people to be careful at home to ensure adequate ventilation of heating appliances to avoid dangers of carbon monoxide.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol reports there have been 260 crashes statewide. Most of the accidents have been property damage issues.

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8 a.m. 

Watch Gina Esposito give you a look at the conditions in uptown

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7 a.m. 

MEDIC reports it has responded to 36 accidents since 10 p.m. Friday. They're urging people to stay safe out on the roads. 

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6 a.m.

Watch Keith Monday and Vicki Graf's update on winter weather conditions

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5:45 a.m.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport remains open with limited airfield operations scheduled to begin around 7 a.m. 

  • Runway 5/23 was closed yesterday and will remain closed throughout the duration of this weather event for de-icing operations.
  • Approximately 70 planes were de-iced Friday.
  • De-icing trucks will be on-site this morning and prepared to conduct de-icing operations, if requested.
  • Airport crews treated and plowed the airfield throughout the night and will continue today.
  • Currently, Runway 18C/36C is open.
  • Parking areas were treated last night and throughout the morning.
  • Airlines are reporting cancellations and delays throughout the day.
  • CLT continues to work with its partners and airlines.
  • Weather conditions are subject to change and travelers are encouraged to frequently check with their air carrier for any cancellations or delays.

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5 a.m.

Watch Keith Monday and Vicki Graf's weather update

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4:30 a.m. 

Duke Energy is reporting more than 1,200 customers without power in Mecklenburg County. It's spread across about 40 locations, mostly south of uptown. In Union County, there are more than 1,800 customers without power. Duke said it has crews responding to restore power as quickly as possible. 

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4 a.m.

Keith Monday update: Snow totals have been revised for the Charlotte. The metro is expected to get around 2 inches because of warmer air.

Police responded to a crash on Billy Graham Parkway. An SUV went off the road and into the woods. When Channel 9 arrived to the scene, there was a tow truck pulling the SUV out of the woods. No one was hurt in the crash.

First responders told Channel 9 they've been busy all Saturday night responding to dozens of crashes.

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3:10 a.m.

Officials said a car tried to pass a salt truck at 12th Street and North Davidson Street near uptown when the two hit each other. No one was hurt in the crash.

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2:45 a.m.

Snow continues from Charlotte northward. This will be a slow transition from rain/sleet switching over to snow heading further south.

Did you snap any photos or take video of the snow/ice? Send them to us at share@wsoctv.com or tag us on Twitter #CLTSnow and we may feature them on air and online!

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2 a.m.

The Highway Patrol urges motorists to stay off the roads.

However, a Channel 9 photographer is in StormCam and has seen quite a few vehicles braving the treacherous conditions.

If drivers do take to the roads, officials strongly recommend slowing down in these conditions.

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1 a.m.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are responding to 21 wrecks.


Watch Keith Monday, Vicki Graf and Christine Rapp Facebook Live update


States of Emergency

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency Friday morning for all 100 counties. He said it will allow authorities to move equipment around the state more easily.

Cooper is expected to speak at 8:30 a.m. Saturday to give an update on the winter weather conditions.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley also declared a State of Emergency Friday afternoon. It allows the state to mobilize additional resources and the National Guard should they be needed in response to the impending hazardous weather. 

The governor's executive order activates the Emergency Operations Plan, directing all state agencies to coordinate emergency resources if local public safety efforts request assistance.


DOT trucks and MEDIC prepared for storm

The North Carolina DOT, South Carolina DOT and Charlotte DOT were out in full force prepping the roads as the snow started to fall Friday night.

CDOT had 32 trucks outfitted with snow plows and salt spreaders, along with 64 crew members and supporting staff. All major and minor thoroughfares, connector streets, bus routes and emergency facilities' entrances have been salt brined. Crews are also working 12-hour shifts.

CDOT said black ice is a real threat starting Sunday when the snow melts and then refreezes on roadways and sidewalks. It's asking the public to avoid any travel unless it's necessary. 


SC employees and equipment:

  • 1,502 maintenance employees actively involved with road operations
  • 497 tons of salt
  • 13 tons of sand
  • 387,120 gallons of salt brine
  • 272 pieces of equipment in use

In South Carolina, SCDOT continues to put done salt-brine on interstates, primary and secondary roads in York, Lancaster and Chester counties. A total of 132 employees are taking part in the anti-icing operations. 

All units began 12-hour shifts at 7 p.m. Friday and will continue until the winter storm event is over.

Many counties in Division 11, which includes Avery, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Caldwell, Wilkes, Surry and Yadkin counties, applied de-icing chemicals ahead of the storm, including Watauga County. Others have salt on the roads remaining from last week.

“We get a lot of snow up here every year, so we know how to deal with it,” said Division 11 Maintenance Engineer Charles Reinhardt who oversees the eastern mountains. “As always, keeping the roads as safe as possible is our top priority.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg EMS officials said they had 61 gallons of ice melt, 192 cans of windshield de-icer and 100 agency vehicles ready. MEDIC also has two new ambulances equipped with four-wheel drive. All other ambulances have tire chains to help them drive through the snow.

Paramedics were ready to not only rescue drivers, but rush into homes.

"We'll see traumatic injuries because people will get kind of stir crazy by Saturday night," said MEDIC deputy director, Kevin Staley. "They'll try to get their paper, their mail, whatever. They hit their front steps and they're out."

MEDIC said it will be fully staffed but if extra calls for help start coming in, they are prepared to bring in extra paramedics and extra help at the call center.

The potential for roads to refreeze throughout the weekend and into Monday is also a big concern for officials.  

The Highway Patrol is also beefing up patrols and warning drivers to stay indoors if they don't have to go out.

 

 

 

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