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Update: Freezing rain delays school, could leave roads slick today

Officials with the Rowan-Salisbury Schools have extended today’s delay to three hours due to icy bridges and overpasses. Staff is on a one-hour delay.

Kannapolis schools delayed the start of classes by two hours today due to the threat of freezing rain.

North Hills Christian School will be on a two-hour delay, as well as Salisbury Academy. Salisbury Academy staff should arrive at 9:30 a.m. Picture day will be rescheduled.

Catawba College will also operate on a two hour delay. The college will open at 10 a.m.

And state transportation officials are advising drivers to be careful on potentially slick roads. Numerous accidents have been reported around the county, with multiple accidents in the Peeler, Julian and Webb Road areas. Most of the accidents have not been serious.

Forecasters put Rowan County under a winter weather advisory through noon today. Rain was expected to change over to freezing rain Tuesday evening, but virtually no accumulation can be seen except on metal surfaces and raised roads.

The National Weather Service predicted only a slight accumulation of ice, but that’s enough to make driving potentially hazardous and create the potential for power outages.

Rowan-Salisbury announced a two-hour delay for students and a one-hour delay for staff Tuesday, according to a ConnectEd message sent out early Tuesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service forecast predicts a high of around 40 today, with temperatures dipping back down to the high 20s tonight. The area should see a warm-up after today, with Thursday’s high in the mid-40s and and the sun returning with highs around 50 degrees Friday and Saturday, according to the weather service.

First, we’ll need to get through the foul weather. In anticipation of that, the N.C. Department of Transportation said Tuesday its maintenance crews were on standby.

In most counties, Transportation Department maintenance crews went home midday Tuesday and were to return to work in the evening to spread salt and sand into the morning on areas prone to slick conditions — such as bridges, overpasses and ramps — as well as roads and highways.

In most locations, the state agency said, spreading brine wouldn’t help combat slippery road conditions because the rain Tuesday would wash off the solution.

NCDOT offers tips for driving on icy roads:

When roads are icy, the Department of Transportation advises people not to drive unless they need to. Drivers should slow down and leave plenty of space between themselves and other vehicles. Do not use cruise control, and drive smoothly without sudden accelerating, braking or turning.

If you begin to slide, remember the following rules:

  • Don’t panic.
  • Take your foot off of the accelerator.
  • If you have to use the breaks, use them gently (antilock brakes should be applied with gentle, steady pressure; for standard, non-ABS brakes, pump the brake pedal gently to avoid locking up).
  • Wait for the car to slow down enough to regain traction before gently accelerating.
  • Yield the right of way at intersections.

Rear-wheel skids

  • Steer your vehicle in the direction that your rear wheels are skidding.
  • Avoid focusing on what your vehicle may be headed toward and instead focus on getting out of the skid.

Front-wheel skids

  • Shift into neutral.
  •  Don’t try to steer immediately.
  • When your vehicle begins to slow down, steer in the direction that you want your vehicle to go.
  • Put the vehicle into gear and gently accelerate.

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