2018-03-14 / Featured

Late snow leaves quickly

By Johnny Whitfield
Courier-Times Editor


The banks of this stream feeding into Mayo Lake were covered with snow on Monday. About three and a half inches of snow fell in Person County during the late winter snowstorm. 
COURTESY OF DAVID SOLOMON The banks of this stream feeding into Mayo Lake were covered with snow on Monday. About three and a half inches of snow fell in Person County during the late winter snowstorm. COURTESY OF DAVID SOLOMON Person County residents seemed to have taken Monday’s snowstorm in stride for the most part.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service reported between three and four inches of snow fell in Person County on Monday. Public safety officials in Roxboro say motorists heeded warnings to drive with caution or stay off the roads completely. The N.C. Highway Patrol reported about 75 calls for service, but 1st Sgt. Jody Gray said most of those involved only property damage or minor injuries. Typically, the Highway Patrol responded to about 20 calls for service during an average day.

The threat of impending weather forced school officials to send students home early on Monday and cold temperatures overnight kept the snow from melting leading to another decision to close schools Tuesday.


Grass and plants turned white quickly on Monday when snow began to fall shortly before noon. 
JOHNNY WHITFIELD | courier-times Grass and plants turned white quickly on Monday when snow began to fall shortly before noon. JOHNNY WHITFIELD | courier-times Jonathan Blaes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said Tuesday Person County typically gets about nine inches of snow per year.

“This was a decent snowstorm for this part of the world. This is close to half of what the county would get in a normal year,” Blaes said.

But Blaes said residents shouldn’t have to deal with the wintry weather for long. “The March sun is pretty strong. There’s a big difference in the March sun and what you see in December. It does a good job of melting that snow away,” Blaes said.

Bryan Garrett, with the city of Roxboro’s Public Works Department, said the rain that fell before the snow and sleet prevented city work crews from pretreating the roads.

“So once the rain changed to sleet, road conditions deteriorated in a hurry. We started (treating the roads) as soon as the frozen precipitation started coming down,” Garrett said.

Some workers were sent home about 9 or 10 Monday night while others remained on the job to respond to 911 calls for black ice. Work crews were back on the job at 5 a.m. Tuesday to treat for more black ice before work traffic began to get heavy. In all, Garrett said work crews laid down about 56 tons of salt on Roxboro’s streets.

Roxboro police Chief David Hess said the school system’s decision to let schools out early was a good call. “That decision mitigated the amount of traffic we would normally see,” Hess said.

Officers only responded to one crash Monday and Hess said that incident wasn’t actually weatherrelated. But he said driving conditions worsened overnight as the slush that built up on roadways froze overnight. “Madison Boulevard and the other main thoroughfares were in good shape thanks to the efforts of DOT and city crews. The side streets, as usual, were extremely treacherous,” Hess said. “It doesn’t take that much ice to cause deadly travel conditions. Any time the roads are icy like they were last night, it can be dangerous.”

Gray, the Highway Patrol Sergeant said traffic was light through the overnight period. “I can assume there weren’t as many people out. Once people made it home I don’t think they were venturing out as much as normal.”

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