NC schools begin closing because of snow, ice

Jan. 25, 2013 @ 12:31 PM

North Carolina schools are bracing for a winter storm, with many districts closing early Friday in anticipation of snowy and icy roads.

Schools in Charlotte are shutting down two hours earlier to ensure student safety. In Caldwell County, schools are releasing students before noon. Other school systems are doing the same.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for most of the state until late Friday night or early Saturday.

Snow began falling around 8 a.m. in the Boone area. Forecasters say up to 4 inches of snow is possible at the higher elevations.

Only 1 or 2 inches of snow and sleet were expected elsewhere.

The state transportation department warned that icy road conditions were expected and urged drivers to use caution.

Transportation department spokeswoman Nicole Meister said most major roads are in good shape because crews have been working for days to pretreat them.

"If the snow starts sticking, everyone has plows ready to go," she said, adding that there must be about 1 inch of snow on the ground before crews can start plowing.

But she warned that drivers have already seen some problems on secondary roads in the western North Carolina mountains.

"We're really worried about the potential for black ice tonight and tomorrow morning," she said.