January 11th, 2011
Roads in Catawba County were covered in ice Tuesday after freezing
rain blanketed snow already fallen across the region.
This layer of ice not only creates hazardous driving conditions, but
it also complicates cleanup procedures for area public works crews and creates additional costs for already-strained budgets.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation budgeted $30 million for snow and ice removal this fiscal year and spent $26.2 million so far. According to the NCDOT, any extra money required for winter-weather cleanup will be drawn from the general maintenance budget.
School officials cancel classes for Wednesday.
Officials with the three Catawba County school systems plan to announce make-up days as they are decided.
As the North Carolina Department of Transportation clears roadways, residents are asked to stay inside and only drive if it's necessary.
The winter weather in Catawba County had an effect on the Tuesday sports schedule as expected in the area.
The Bunker Hill-West Caldwell basketball games scheduled for Tuesday have been postponed until Wednesday. School officials said they will re-evaluate the situation tomorrow.
Also, the wrestling match scheduled between Bunker HIll and West Caldwell has been postponed until Wednesday.
The Draughn-Newton-Conover basketball games will be played if both schools systems are in session on Wednesday.
A child was struck by a car Tuesday as he was sledding across the street near his home.
James Caleb Mull, 13, of Vale, was sledding near his house on Gracie Lane about 10:40 a.m.
Mull slid north down a hill and crossed Gracie Lane, where he was struck by a vehicle traveling west on the road, said N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper B.L. Buchanan.
Mull slid under the left rear wheel of the vehicle, which was a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by Charles Richard Crater, 63, of Newton.
As of press time, there had not been any changes made to the sports schedule for Tuesday.
However, several athletic directors we spoke with believed a schedule change would be made, but nothing official decision had been made by administration.
The schedule includes six area basketball games, including Draughn at Newton-Conover, Hickory at St. Stephens,
Also on the schedule were two wrestling meets for Bandys and Fred T. Foard High Schools, as well as a four-team swim meet for Foard at the Hickory YMCA.
Catawba County school districts will not have school Tuesday.
School superintendents decided Monday afternoon to cancel Tuesday school for icy conditions heading to the county Monday night and early Tuesday morning.
Officials will review the weather again Tuesday and in the early morning Wednesday to determine if school will resume Wednesday.
In addition, Newton-Conover City Schools Board of Education's Monday meeting is canceled.
Fred William Johnson, 62, of Lincolnton, passed away Friday, Jan. 7, 2011, at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. A memorial service will be held Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011, at 4 p.m. at Burke Mortuary Chapel in Maiden with the Rev. Jeremy Peeler officiating.
Many people enjoyed the day off Monday after Catawba County was blanketed with snow and ice.Â
However, public works departments worked around the clock to clear the icy mess and ensure the safety ofÂ travelers in the area.Â
A second round of winter weather slammed Catawba County on Monday, bringing snow, ice, closings and travel delays for Catawba County residents.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol station in Newton reported 82 calls for service in the patrol's 10-county service area throughout western North Carolina. No serious injuries were reported as of Monday morning.
Most of the crashes were one-car accidents because of slick road conditions.Â
For Conover, the biggest problem was tractor trailers.Â
Gov. Bev Perdue declared a state of emergency Monday in North Carolina because of snowfall and anticipated ice accumulation.Â
Many county organizations closed Monday, in an effort to ensure the safety of county travelers.
All county schools systems; Catawba County Schools, Newton-Conover City Schools and Hickory Public Schools, were closed Monday.Â
Catawba County Schools Public Information Officer Carleen Crawford said she anticipated a decision about Tuesday's closing sometime Monday afternoon or evening.Â