by: Dave Faherty Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Severe Weather Center 9 is tracking a winter storm that is moving to the east of the Charlotte area Friday afternoon.
Cold rain fell for most of the day in Charlotte and areas south of the city.
North of Charlotte is where the wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain was seen, which is created slushy conditions on the roads. This led to a lot of problems on the roads, and also power outages.
Winter weather also caused problems in uptown Charlotte. Ice fell in front of the Duke Energy Center. No one was hurt, but officials urged people to be careful.
After 9 a.m., the slush started transitioning over to a cold rain event.
By the end of Friday we could see rainfall amounts near two inches in some spots -- as a result, flooding will also be a concern.
There are some flood warnings for creeks near the Charlotte area.
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The rain will finally start to wind down by 4 p.m., clearing from west to east.
It will be a cooler day with high temperatures only in the low 40s.
Very nice weather is in store for this weekend, with highs in the mid-60s with plenty of sunshine.
The next chance for rain in the Metro area moves in next Wednesday.
Heavy rains over the last several hours have prompted the North Carolina Department of Transportation to temporarily close several roads in Cabarrus County flooded by rising waters.
Sections of the Rocky River may reach 17 feet and spill over its banks today, while localized flooding is still possible across parts of the Charlotte region through Friday afternoon. Click here for more information.
Several schools have announced Friday morning that they will be closed.
- Appalachian State University
- Ashe County
- Avery County
- Burke County
- Caldwell County
- Catawba County
- Mooresville Graded
- Watauga County
- Lincoln County
- Alexander County
A school bus crashed as it was headed to Myers Park High School Friday morning. There were no kids on the bus when it crashed and knocked down power lines on South Lancer Drive and Providence Lane West. To read more, click here.
Emergency crews told Channel 9 that slick roads may be to blame after a Rowan County school bus slid off the road and down an embankment early Friday morning.
Officials said there were three students on the bus but neither they, nor the driver, were hurt. The accident happened just after 6 a.m. at Majolica Road and Sherrils Ford Road. Click here for more information.
Transportation officials say take it slow on the roads
The main concern for Friday morning is icy conditions along interstates, roadways and overpasses, but transportation officials said they're ready for it.
North Carolina Department of Transportation will have 27 contract trucks on interstates and primary routes throughout Mecklenburg County applying salt as needed on those roadways.
Charlotte Department of Transportation said beginning at 11 p.m. Thursday, they had 32 trucks out on Charlotte's streets. They will be spreading salt on city streets and bridges.
They're advising drivers if you have to be out on the roads, take it slow.
“It's really important that everybody slow down. (Ice) can appear without warning,” said Linda Durrett with CDOT.
Foothills crews pre-treating roadways ahead of wintry weather
North Carolina Department of Transportation crews in the North Carolina foothills hit the roads early Thursday morning in preparation for the possibility of ice.
By noon, much of Highway 321 in Caldwell County was covered with brine ahead of whatever falls Thursday night.
The DOT sprayed the saltwater mixture on major roadways in Catawba and Iredelll counties as well but opted not to go farther south in Lincoln, Gaston and Cleveland counties.
The DOT said the rain will fall there first, washing away their efforts.
In Hickory, road crews were more concerned about a potential ice storm than snow.
They were prepping chainsaws Thursday morning in case freezing rain brings down tree limbs onto roadways.
Steve Miller, City of Hickory
"Probably going to start out as rain and then switch over to freezing rain so we have all of our chainsaws and big equipment ready in case we have trees down,” said Steve Miller with the city of Hickory. “We also have plenty of salt and sand if the roads get slick."
Blue Ridge Electric is on high alert in case some of the freezing rain causes power outages in the foothills and the mountains. They are forecasting between a tenth- and quarter-inch of ice.
They usually don't see widespread outages with those amounts, but they're ready, said lineman Chad Gilbert.
- Clear windows and mirrors.
- Reduce speed and leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.
- Approach bridges and overpasses with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on a bridge unless necessary.
- If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car.
- Come to a complete stop or yield the right of way when approaching an intersection in case any vehicles coming from other directions lose control of their vehicles while trying to stop.
- If you have a cellular phone, take it with you. You can contact the Highway Patrol statewide by calling *HP (*47) or call law enforcement in the event of an emergency by dialing 911.
- Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.
Snowstorm costs Charlotte $1.6M
Last month's snowstorm cost the city of Charlotte $1.6 million.
The biggest expense was $526,000 to treat roads from icing.
The CDOT used 95,000 gallons of brine and nearly 3,000 tons of salt.
The city said it believes various departments will be able to absorb the costs and shouldn't impact this spring's budget planning for the upcoming year.