01/28/04 — Tuesday was filled with fun and fear

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Tuesday was filled with fun and fear

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on January 28, 2004 2:02 PM

Motorists began venturing out on city and county roads Tuesday, while children enjoyed sliding on the icy hills and driveways.

By noon Tuesday, most of the major roads within the city were clear, either from salt, warmer temperatures or traffic.

The county roads, however, were a different story.

After an eight-car pileup Tuesday morning at the bridge on N.C. 581 near Claridge Nursery Road, road crews piled salt and sand at the icy intersection.

Salem Church Road, Vail Road and most of Buck Swamp Road were still coated in a sheet of ice.

The bridge on Salem Church Road near the Lane Tree Golf Course was completely covered in ice Tuesday, except for a thin lane of exposed blacktop.

Fog blanketed the fields and houses on rural roads, obscuring vision for drivers. Cars slid over the untreated streets.

Some of the drivers were cautious and courteous; others left driving skills to be desired.

A young man driving a red pickup truck on Buck Swamp Road was barely staying on the road, as he slid and swerved from side to side.

He was, however, managing to hang on to his cell phone.

Back in the subdivisions, people began cautiously leaving their houses to clear pathways to the road.

Pink towels were laid carefully on each step leading to the front door of one home to help melt the ice and provide safer footing. Other people used salt, cat litter or old-fashioned elbow grease to get rid of the ice.

One group of children took advantage of the frozen yards by playing hockey.

The McIver family enjoyed sledding down an ice-packed hill for a while, until mom Jennifer McIver said the ride wasn't worth "crawling back up hill on her hands and knees."

In the nearby Fallingbrook subdivision, Kevin Easom kept a sharp eye, and a video camera, on several kids as they slid through the yard.

"I'm sort of the neighborhood dad," he explained, "because my work has been called off for the past two days."

Easom works for the Wayne County Department of Social Services.

His daughter, Abigail, and son Christopher slid past him on blue and orange plastic dishes.

"I'm dizzy," giggled neighbor Megan Sharp, as she slid, laughing, into Abigail.