Winter Storm Update: CMS To Resume Normal Schedule Wednesday

Dec 11, 2018

Updated: 4:10 p.m. Tuesday 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools will open on a normal schedule for all students and staff Wednesday. The district thanked families for their cooperation as some schools in the northern part of the closed for a second day Tuesday, and others operated on a two-hour delay. 

"The district appreciates the cooperation of CMS students, families, employees and Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents as we worked together to keep our students and staff safe," CMS said. 

Updated: 12:05 p.m. Tuesday

The emergency overflow shelter for the homeless at the Grady Cole Center will close its doors on Wednesday.

Since last Saturday, the 225-bed shelter has provided hundreds with a "warm, safe place to rest and get a meal," said Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio on Tuesday.

The shelter, which opened in uptown when the winter storm, will end services at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Until then, those services remain available for individuals, couples and families - including pets - and CATS will continue to provide free transportation.

Updated: 7:45 a.m. Tuesday

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced Monday evening that select campuses in north Mecklenburg County and other magnet locations will remain closed Tuesday due to the winter weather. 

All other schools will continue to operate on a two-hour delay.

CMS Closures:

  • Bailey MS
  • Barnette ES
  • Blythe ES
  • Bradley MS
  • Cornelius ES
  • Croft ES
  • David Cox ES
  • Davidson ES
  • Early Colleges at UNCC: Engineering and Teaching
  • Grand Oak ES
  • Hawthorne Academy
  • Highland Creek ES
  • Hopewell HS
  • Hornets Nest ES
  • Hough HS
  • Huntersville ES
  • Independence HS
  • J.M. Alexander MS
  • J.V. Washam ES
  • Lebanon Road ES
  • Long Creek ES
  • Mallard Creek ES
  • Mallard Creek HS
  • Metro School Northeast MS
  • North Mecklenburg HS
  • Northwest School of the Arts
  • Parkside ES
  • Performance Learning Center
  • Phillip O. Berry Piedmont Middle School
  • IB Ridge Road MS
  • Stoney Creek ES
  • Torrence Creek ES
  • Trillium Springs Montessori
  • Waddell Language Academy

Updated: 6:15 p.m.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will have a two-hour delay Tuesday morning due to the winter weather, according to district officials.

“The district asks everyone to be patient tomorrow and to use extra caution traveling as some areas in our community have been more impacted than others by winter weather,” CMS said in a statement Monday afternoon.

CMS says schools will dismiss students in the afternoon at normal times. The district also said it will announce make-up days soon.

Other school districts in the region are closing for another day, including Catawba, Iredell, Lincoln and Rowan Counties.

Almost 3 inches of snow fell on Charlotte Sunday, with flurries continuing into Monday morning. The mountains and parts of Western North Carolina had the highest snow accumulation. Linville saw 18 inches. Areas north of Charlotte, like Lenoir, Hickory and Mooresville saw 14 inches.

State officials say the worst of the winter weather has passed, but continue to urge residents to be careful as cold overnight temperatures can turn slush covering the streets into ice. Temperatures in Charlotte are expected to drop to the low 30s early Tuesday morning.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has not lifted the state of emergency for North Carolina. Cooper said North Carolina National Guard are still in place to respond to the storm.

Meanwhile, people across the Carolinas are still without power. According to Duke Energy, as of 5:56 p.m. there are 62,076 customers in North Carolina and 23,995 in South Carolina experiencing outages. In Mecklenburg County, there are 12,263 people without power.

The utility has not said when power will be restored to those households but has said that it has positioned about 9,000 workers to handle repairs as conditions allow.

The storm has claimed three lives in North Carolina. A truck driver died in Yadkin County Sunday while working to free his rig when it got stuck in the snow along Interstate 77. A man also died Sunday when a tree fell on his car in Matthews. A Haywood County woman who was living on hospice care died when her oxygen was cut off due to power outages. 

Updated 1:00 p.m. Monday

Authorities in North Carolina are reporting a third snowstorm-related death after a truck driver died while working to free his rig that got stuck on an interstate.

Yadkin County Emergency Services Director Keith Vestal says the driver had gotten stuck along Interstate 77 during the height of the storm Sunday and was shoveling out. Vestal said that shortly after shoveling, the man experienced chest pains and was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. Vestal said the death appears to be due to a heart attack and he considers it a storm-related death.

The state emergency operations center attributes two other deaths to the storm. One man died Sunday when a tree fell on him in Mecklenburg County, while an ailing woman died in Haywood County when her oxygen was cut off due to power outages.

Updated: 11:50 a.m. Monday

Two lives have been claimed by the winter storm that swept through the Carolinas over the weekend and continues to bring snow to the Charlotte Region.

A man was killed Sunday in Matthews when a tree fell on his truck. A woman in Haywood County who was living on hospice care also passed away during the storm, according to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

“Unfortunately, the snow has turned into a nightmare and tragedy for some, claiming two lives,” Cooper said in a Monday morning news conference. “We mourn them and offer their loved ones our sympathies.”

Cooper said the state of emergency for North Carolina remains in effect and 172 National Guard members are still in place to respond to the storm. He urged residents to continue staying put.

“Please let Mother Nature and the Department of Transportation road crews finish clearing the roads before you venture out,” Cooper said. “Don’t risk your safety or that of emergency responders by venturing out.”

A winter storm warning remains in effect for Charlotte and the western part of the state until 2 p.m. Monday afternoon. The storm dropped about three inches of snow on Charlotte Sunday. The mountains and western parts of the state saw a foot or more.

Snow will change to rain Monday afternoon when the high will reach about 36 degrees. Temperatures will drop into the 20s early Tuesday and for the next couple of nights. Icy roads will be a concern for the next few mornings before temperatures return to normal on Friday.

Mecklenburg County Medic said it responded to 83 traffic accidents Sunday. Colonel Glenn M. McNeill with the State Highway Patrol said crews have responded to 672 collisions around the state. He warned drivers to stay alert and use caution.

“Don't assume because a road has been scraped that it is completely free of hazards,” McNeill said. “The potential for downed trees in roadways and areas of refreeze and moisture should be at the forefront if you are traveling.”

Seventy-six school districts across the state, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. Ten more districts have delayed schedules. UNC Charlotte is scheduled to open Monday at noon and professors are alerting students about the status of exams. Davidson College administrative offices are closed, but exams are on as scheduled. At Queen's University, power was out Sunday, offices closed Monday and exams are being rescheduled.

Duke Energy’s website shows that 156,866 customers are without power across the Carolinas, including 27,077 in Mecklenburg County as of 11:17 a.m. Fifty-six people are experiencing outages in Gaston County as are 500 in Union County.

In South Carolina, power continues to be out for 30,989 people in Greenville County and 12,150 in Spartanburg. Those two counties are experiencing the highest number of outages. Eleven people are without power in York County. 

Updated 10:30 a.m. Monday

Airlines are expected to resume normal operations by noon Monday at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Over 1,000 flights were canceled and more were scheduled for cancellation Monday morning. Airport staff worked into Sunday night in order to clear the airfield, roadways, overpasses and parking areas. Two runways are open and the third is expected to open this morning. Deicing services are also available.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools remain closed to students and staff as power and heat are restored to dozens of campuses. Schools are also closed in Caldwell, Iredell, Lincoln, Gaston, and Rowan Counties.

Residents across the Carolinas are still without power, according to Duke Energy. As of 10:18 a.m., 115,669 people in North Carolina and 44,680 in South Carolina are experiencing outages. There are 23,558 people in Mecklenburg County without power.

Updated Sunday at 5:35 p.m.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools will be closed for students and staff Monday due to the winter storm that swept across the Charlotte area. The district announced Monday afternoon that crews are working to restore power and heat to dozens of schools in Mecklenburg County.  

CMS also cited concerns about hazardous conditions on roads, bridges, stairs, and sidewalks.

School closings for Monday also include Caldwell, Iredell, Lincoln, Gaston, and Rowan County schools. Charlotte Piedmont Community College and Queens University of Charlotte have also canceled classes through Monday.

Duke Energy has nearly 247,531 customers without power in the Carolinas right now. That includes 34,882 people affected in Mecklenburg County and about 434 in Gaston County.  Duke Energy spokesperson Candice Knezevic said more outages could still occur.

“Even after the system moves out of our service territory [and] as some of the water on the ground refreezes, that can certainly cause an issue on trees and on roads and things like that,” Knezevic said. “So, you know, we certainly could see those numbers rise.”

She said about 9,000 Duke Energy workers were positioned Sunday to begin repairs as conditions allowed. The company has not said when it expects to restore all power knocked out by the winter storm.

The National Weather Service says the heaviest precipitation from the winter storm that hit the Carolinas overnight and through the Day Sunday is moving out of the Charlotte area. The storm layered the region with combinations of sleet, freezing rain and snow. Tricia Palmer with the Weather Service office in Greer, South Carolina, said freezing precipitation fell mostly along the lines forecasted had predicted:

“The warm air aloft was able to penetrate a little bit farther north, so we had a little less snowfall than we had originally predicted across Charlotte,” Palmer said. “But we had a little bit more sleet and freezing rain.”

She said accumulations of ice and snow Monday range from an inch or less on the south side of Mecklenburg County to a report of about 18 inches at one location in northern Iredell County.

A tree fell on a car in Matthews Sunday afternoon, killing one person. Mecklenburg Emergency Medical Services also said that there were 70 accidents between midnight and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Updated: 5 p.m. Sunday

More households are experiencing power outages as the winter storm continues to hit the Carolinas. Duke Energy reports 201,965 people are without power in North Carolina as of 1:45 p.m., with 47,972 in Mecklenburg County

In Gaston County, 3,204 people are without power as well as 690 in Union County. Residents toward the western part of the state are also experiencing widespread outages with 18,618 people in Buncombe County and 10,699 in Henderson County affected. 

In South Carolina, 80,160 people are without power across the state. Two counties have seen the greatest number of outages, with 52,385 people affected in Greenville County and 23,094 people in Spartanburg County.

Duke Energy said Friday that it’s expecting 500,000 power outages in the Carolinas during the storm and that it has prepared more than 8,700 personnel to respond. Duke also said dangerous travel conditions “could delay damage assessment and restoration.”

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and state transportation officials are urging people to stay off the roads as the icy driving conditions will likely be a problem for the next couple of days.  

“We’ve seen too many collisions. We’ve seen the potential loss of life in an instant,” Cooper said Sunday morning. “So, we’re encouraging people to stay off the roads.”

Forecaster Doug Outlaw with the National Weather Service says overnight lows around Charlotte on Monday will get well below freezing.

“Any remaining moisture on any area roads will certainly freeze with temperatures dropping to 24 degrees Tuesday morning,” Outlaw said. “It’s gonna be quite a concern.”

The City of Charlotte says city operations will be on a two-hour delay tomorrow, with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center opening to the public at 10 a.m. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced that schools would be closed Monday. Other districts have also announced school closures, including Catawba, Cabarrus, Iredell, Lincoln, Gaston and Rowan Counties. 

Queens University of Charlotte has also announced that classes will be canceled for Monday. UNC Charlotte has not yet released a decision.

Updated: 1:45 p.m. Sunday

As the winter storm continues to bring freezing rain, sleet and snow to the region, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is urging people to be smart and hunker down. 

“We are encouraging people to stay off the roads, particularly in these areas where travel is hazardous,” Cooper said in a Sunday morning news conference. “We’ve seen too many collisions. We’ve seen the potential loss of life in an instant. So, we’re encouraging people to stay off the roads.”

During the briefing, State Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon described how the North Carolina Department of Transportation crews plan to tackle the ice and snow-covered roads.

"Our focus today will be clearing interstates and then shifting to U.S. routes... and plowing and salting those. That's about 5,000 miles of roads here in North Carolina," Trogdon said. 

State Highway Patrol Commander Col. Glenn McNeill also said the patrol has responded to more than 500 collisions from midnight to earlier Sunday morning. In Mecklenburg County, medics have responded to 55 accidents.

Duke Energy reports 283,962 customers are without power in the Carolinas as of 1:14 p.m. – including 51,287 in Mecklenburg County. There are 3,068 customers affected in Gaston County, as well as 583 in Union. Toward the western part of the state, 21,390 people are experiencing outages in Buncombe County. The same goes for 11,971 people in Henderson County.

In South Carolina, 52,731 customers are without power in Greenville County. In Spartanburg County, 26,296 people are affected by outages. In York County, 190 people are without power. 

Some districts have announced school closures for Monday, including Iredell, Lincoln, Gaston and Rowan Counties. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has not yet announced its decision. 

The National Weather Service says more freezing rain and sleet is likely through Sunday afternoon.  A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for the Charlotte region through noon Monday. 

Updated: 10:40 a.m. Sunday

Emergency officials are urging residents to stay inside and keep off the icy roads as snow, sleet, and rain sweep through the area.

Icy precipitations are expected to continue, according to the National Weather Service’s Doug Outlaw.

“Freezing rain is also predominant in many areas along the I-85 corridor, and we are forecasting that to continue through much of the day,” Outlaw said.

The wintry mix will likely cover the ground with a layer of ice that could reach .2 to .4 inches. Outlaw said that with ice building up on trees and power lines, major power outages are possible in some areas.

Duke Energy reports that as of 10:25 Sunday morning, 211,171 people are without power across the Carolinas, with that number continuing to climb. In Mecklenburg County, 10,984 people are experiencing outages. 2,667 customers have lost power in Gaston County as well as 1,011 in Catawba County. 

In South Carolina, the two counties experiencing the greatest number of outages are Greenville County, with 37,787 customers affected and Spartanburg County, with 18,476 customers affected. There are only 243 customers in York County experiencing outages.  

Dangerous road conditions overnight had Medic responding to 37 accidents between midnight and 8 a.m. Most of the incidents were concentrated on major highways, like Interstates 77 and 85, according to Mecklenburg Emergency Medical Services.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Friday and is urging residents to stay put through the storm.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper provides an update on winter storm preparation Saturday.
Credit UNC-TV

"Stay safe where you are,” he said during a news conference Saturday. “Getting out on dangerous roads could put your life at risk. It also gets in the way of first responders and road crews who will be hard at work trying to keep us safe."

Meanwhile, workers at Charlotte-Douglas airport began de-icing planes Saturday night. The airport remains open, but many flights have been canceled. Travelers are encouraged to check with their airlines.

American Airlines said that as of Saturday evening, 225 Saturday flights on American and its regional carriers had been canceled.  About 1,100 American and partner airline flights had already been canceled for Sunday.

The City of Concord says the runway at Concord-Padgett Regional Airport is closed Sunday morning because of icing.