Wintry mix causes traffic headaches

Jan. 25, 2013 @ 06:05 PM

Friday’s wintry mix made road conditions treacherous as snow, sleet and freezing rain fell through much of the afternoon.
Most of the precipitation had moved through the High Point area by about 4 p.m., leaving behind a dusting of snow and sleet with a glaze of ice on top.
Numerous wrecks were reported, many of them after noon. High Point police dispatchers said they received a high volume of weather-related calls, most of which involved minor traffic accidents.
One crash involving an injury was reported just before 2 p.m. at E. Fairfield and Jackson Lake roads in south High Point. Dispatchers said the victim’s injuries were believed to be minor.
State troopers in Guilford and surrounding counties saw an uptick in call volume beginning in the early afternoon, according to N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Greg Ingram. One crash involved a tractor-trailer that collided with several cars and slid off Interstate 85 South near N.C. 62 just outside High Point.
“It’s mostly vehicles sliding off roads into the ditch and some property damage; nothing serious,” Ingram said.
Area school systems dismissed classes early Friday, and troopers said having buses and other school-related traffic off the roads before the bulk of the storm hit appeared to make a difference.
“I guess that the biggest key was that the schools seemed like they were pretty much prepared,” Ingram said.
High Point street maintenance crews applied salt brine to roadways in the days leading up to the storm in an effort to keep ice from bonding to pavement and to enhance the melting process.
There was not enough accumulation of precipitation to make plowing of any city-maintained streets effective, but trucks were spreading rock salt on top of what fell to try to improve road conditions, according to city Public Services Director Chris Thompson.
“The trucks are hitting trouble spots and priority routes. Beyond that, there’s not a lot we can do,” Thompson said. “The only issue we’ve got is the temperatures at this point, and getting a salt layer out will hopefully get us through.”
Today’s high temperature is expected to reach the mid-40s under clear skies, but temperatures probably won’t get above freezing until late morning at the earliest, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Kathleen Carroll.
“Whatever has fallen and stuck to the roads will probably stay there, so people are going to want to be really careful until things start drying out later (today),” said Carroll.
Clear skies are forecast through early next week, with high temperatures warming from the low to mid-40s Sunday and Monday to the upper 50s Tuesday and near 60 on Wednesday, when the next chance of rain is forecast.

Closings

All Guilford County Schools activities scheduled for campuses today have been canceled. That includes all athletic games and practices and other extracurricular activities. Any events planned by outside groups on school campuses are also canceled.

The school district’s Magnet Fair has been moved to Monday, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Showplace, 211 E. Commerce Ave.

Students scheduled to take the SAT today will take it on Saturday, Feb. 16. Five high schools were scheduled to hold the SAT today: High Point Central, Smith, Grimsley, Southern and Page.