Garner avoids worst of yet another winter storm, but plans iced for many

kjahner@newsobserver.comMarch 7, 2014 

— Mortimer seems to have fibbed this year.

Back on Feb. 2, Garner’s groundhog-turned-weatherman predicted one more cold snap in February before an early spring. March iced that prediction early last week.

Garner avoided major traffic problems and accidents during Monday afternoon and night’s rain and ice storm, but the weather resulted in the cancellation of even more school region-wide as well as a town council meeting.

Garner police spokesman Chris Clayton said the few accidents that did happen didn’t rise above a normal volume and none were serious. Power outages, often a concern in ice storms, did not really materialize, according to Duke Progress Energy outage maps.

Schools closed early on Monday and many commuters went home on a rainy day when temperatures had been projected to drop below freezing in the early afternoon. School on Tuesday was cancelled in Wake and Johnston counties, among others.

At night the rain turned to sleet, and temperatures into the teens caused a glaze of moisture on roads to freeze. Raleigh and other parts of the Triangle dealt with a number of accidents due to black ice, though many went home early Monday and stayed in Tuesday morning. Clayton agreed with the suggestion that Garner’s relative lack of hills may have helped the situation locally.

The damage was mitigated as the sun – despite still cold temperatures – melted much of the ice and dried most roads by late morning and early afternoon Tuesday.

The cancelled council meeting will not be rescheduled, with items on the agenda – including annexation of the land where South Garner High School will be built – moved to the Tuesday, March 18 council meeting. That meeting will start an hour earlier than usual, at 6 p.m., according to town spokesman Rick Mercier.

Tuesdays “snow” day will be made up on June 12 for Wake County traditional calendar students (including Garner High, East Garner Middle and Aversboro, Creech Road, East Garner, Smith and Vandora Springs elementary schools), extending the school year by a day. Year round schools (North Garner Middle and Rand Road and Timber Drive elementary schools) held their makeup day March 8.

Traditional Wake schools already had snow days scheduled March 28, April 21 and June 11. Year-round schools have more makeup days set for April 26 and May 3. The county already announced it could not make up all of the 8-plus snow days this year, but will still meet minimum requirements for classroom hours.

Johnston County had scheduled makeup days on Feb. 17, March 28 and June 12 for its traditional calendar schools, and turned early release days on March 13 and June 11 into full days. Year-round schools have the same makeup days, except the March 28 makeup day for traditional calendar schools will be March 17 for year-round schools. It has not announced makeups for the latest snow days, but had said June 13 would be the next snow day for both calendars, and after that April 21 (traditional) or March 18 (year-round).

Jahner: 919-829-4822; Twitter: @garnercleveland

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