01/19/07 — Forecasters: No reason to worry about Monday commute

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Forecasters: No reason to worry about Monday commute

By Staff and Wire
Published in News on January 19, 2007 1:58 PM

Goldsboro and Wayne County residents need not worry about the possibility of icy roads this weekend -- there will be none.

National Weather Service forecasters said the winter precipitation that caught many central and eastern N.C. residents off-guard Thursday has dissipated and will not likely return in the near future.

"We might see some showers late Sunday through early Monday, but it looks like temperatures are going to be high enough where it will come down as a cold rain," officials said. "No ice or snow."

Morning travel was smooth early today across the state, as temperatures largely hovered just above freezing the day after rain and sleet blanketed many roadways, a Highway Patrol spokesman said.

"We're not being overrun with a bunch of weather-driven problems this morning," said Lt. Everett Clendenin.

He said the Highway Patrol had responded to the usual amount of minor accidents.

Snow and icy roads were blamed for two fatal traffic accidents Thursday, and the winter weather was expected to linger through the weekend. An approaching storm system could bring freezing rain and sleet to the western part of the state Sunday, according to forecasters, who declined to guess how powerful the storm will be when it arrives.

In addition to the accident involving a Goldsboro man, Jeanette Coble, 77, died in a separate head-on collision on Alamance Church Road south of Greensboro. Troopers said Christopher Clontz, 24, of Julian, lost control of his car, which struck a minivan driven by Coble's husband, Tommy, according to reports.

The Greensboro woman was pronounced dead at a hospital, while Tommy Coble and Clontz were treated for injuries including broken bones, said Trooper C.B. Knox. He said the site of the accident was shaded and snowy but other roadways were clear.

Troopers responded to about 300 traffic calls in the Raleigh-Durham area, more than 200 in the Triad and about 95 in the Charlotte area. Most calls were for minor accidents, and troopers in administrative positions were brought in to ease the volume of calls, Clendenin said.

Troopers in Randolph County responded to two school bus accidents though no serious injuries were reported, said Sgt. R.W. Elkins. Eight passengers from one bus were taken to the hospital as a precaution, he said.

Many schools opened two hours late Friday after being closed on Thursday.

About 2 inches of snow were reported in Davidson County, according to the National Weather Service.

"Most people in central North Carolina got about an inch, mostly on the grass," said Jeff Orrock, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service bureau in Raleigh.

Most of the weather problems on highways were between U.S. 52 in the western Piedmont area of the state and Interstate 95 in the east, Clendenin said.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport had about 10 minor delays for flights, while 13 flights were canceled, spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin said. The cancellations were made by airlines and Hamlin said she did not know why those decisions were made.