Snow blankets state, ice to follow

Snow spread across North Carolina on Monday, covering roads and leaving steadily worsening travel conditions that led to hundreds of closed schools and businesses.

Catawba County police and rescue responded to several traffic incidents throughout the morning and mid-day, including overturned vehicles on Mount Olive Church Road and East Maiden Road.

School was cancelled for all three Catawba County public school systems on Monday. According to Newton-Conover City Schools' website, "If a day is missed during the week of Jan. 10-14, then Saturday, Jan. 15 will be a makeup day."

Catawba Valley Community College is also closed, with all activities cancelled. Lenoir-Rhyne University will not hold evening classes Monday.

Catawba County government offices operated on a two hour delay, and the county's parks are all closed. The city of Newton announced that sanitation collection would not likely resume until Wednesday, depending on weather conditions Monday night and Tuesday morning.

The spreading reach of snow was expected to turn to sleet and then freezing rain before the storm front wrapped up as freezing drizzle on Tuesday, National Weather Service forecasters said.

School was canceled from the 136,000-student Charlotte-Mecklenburg district in the west to the New Hanover and Brunswick county districts on the coast. Weather warnings and advisories were in effect throughout the state.

The state's major utilities reported no significant service problems early Monday.

A spokeswoman for the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management said emergency crews were ready to act if needed.

Officials in North Carolina were monitoring conditions early Monday.

"We're prepared to spring into action if we need to, but we're monitoring just like everybody else," said Julia Jarema, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management.

Police and Highway Patrol troopers in the Charlotte area had reported dozens of traffic accidents before dawn Monday. Forecasters reported as much as two inches of snow per hour was falling in some western North Carolina communities.

Western and southern parts of North Carolina were expected to take the brunt of the snow, with accumulations of up to eight inches in the Charlotte area and more along the state's southern border, the National Weather Service said. Snowfall of up to a foot were possible in western South Carolina and northeast Georgia, forecasters said.