Rowan sees its share of winter weather

Published 8:22 am Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter weather hit Rowan early Friday morning, dumping snow and sprinkles of sleet.

The weather resulted in emergency declarations from elected leaders at the state, county and city of Salisbury levels. Many businesses and all schools in Rowan County closed because of the weather. County and city of Salisbury offices also closed. Roads in rural areas of the county on Friday morning remained covered in snow. Snow plows and road crews spent the morning clearing roads.

Rowan Emergency Services Director Frank Thomason said winter precipitation hit as expected, but didn’t initially pile up in heavy amounts. However, Thomason warned more snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected and motorists shouldn’t drive on roads unless needed.

He said the winter storm system is expected to produce higher frozen rain totals in east Rowan. West Rowan could see less ice and more snow than the east, he said.

Around mid-day on Friday, forecasts show any snow shifting to frozen rain.

In preparation for more weather, Thomason said emergency personnel have staged an emergency operations center at the Rowan County Agricultural Building on Old Concord Road.

“We have the ability to set it up in times of significant events or event disaster for the county and it provides coordination over multiple jurisdictions,” Thomason said. “Because of this storm event, we did see the need to set it up.”

He said the emergency operations center has five stages of activation. Currently, the center is at stage three of five, he said. One is the highest and means the emergency operations center would be fully staffed. Five equates to business as usual, Thomason said.

“It’s not currently staffed,” Thomason said Friday morning. “However, we;re fully set up. It’s tested and ready to be staffed if needed.”

Thomason said he isn’t aware of any serious traffic accidents resulting from weather. He said one accident occurred U.S. 52 at Sides Road. Another occurred on I-85 near Long Ferry Road, where a tractor trailer jackknifed. He said neither resulted in serious injuries.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246