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Snow Blankets Region, Brings Wrecks

Davidson baseball snowball fight

Mother Nature delivered a dose of winter to the Charlotte area Saturday afternoon. Thick snow covered the ground in just about 10 minutes in some places, eventually dropping about 2 inches in the Charlotte area by nightfall.  Charlotte Mecklenburg Police responded to a couple of dozen wrecks during the storm.

The bad weather made road slick and halted outdoor events, including a Davidson College baseball game that went from clear to whiteout conditions in a just a few minutes.  (Watch a time-lapse video of that scene.)

The National Weather Service has extended its winter weather advisory through noon today. The forecast calls for a chilly and windy day, with temperatures rising from the 20s to about 42 this afternoon. 

During yesterday afternoon’s storm, firefighters were called to put out a fire at a tank farm in the Paw Creek area of northwest Charlotte.  The Charlotte Observer reports that the fire began with an explosion around 4:15 p.m. that sent flames 20 to 30 feet in the air. Authorities think a lighting strike or static discharge may have sparked the fire in a 44,000-gallon tank of ethanol. More than 70 firefighters needed about an hour and a half to extinguish the blaze.

One person died Saturday afternoon in a wreck in Gaston County - on Highway 321, near Community Road. Rescue units were called to the scene at 4:22 p.m., where they found a person with fatal injuries underneath an SUV that had gone down an embankment. Officials said the wreck involved a passenger car with one occupant and an SUV with five passengers. Crowder’s Mountain Fire & Rescue reported that the driver of the car was standing beside his stopped car on the road when he was struck by the SUV. Nobody else was injured.

Another fatal accident was reported overnight in Charlotte. Charlotte Mecklenburg police say the wreck happened just after 3 a.m. on the 500 block of Tyvola Road.  A 46-year-old man was driving his 2000 Nissan pickup west on Tyvola with two passengers, when he lost control and struck a tree in the median. One passenger was killed in the crash and another was seriously injured. The driver has been charged with DWI, Felony Serious Injury by Vehicle, and driving without a license. He was treated for minor injuries and released.  Police also say there were icy areas on the road. Police are still investigating, and ask anyone with information about the case to call Crime Stoppers at 704-344-1600.