A little more than a week before spring arrives, a snow storm covered the county with late season snow on Monday.
“It’s been rough,” said John Shelton, county emergency services director, early Monday afternoon. “There have been more than 80 accidents, there are several trees down and power lines down. But so far, there have been only minor injuries. The majority is only property damage.”
North Carolina Hwy. 89 was a hot spot for accidents with one wreck involving a fire truck and another involving two tractor-trailers. A Franklin Volunteer Fire Department truck collided with an SUV near North Surry High School at 12:04 p.m.
“It was caused by ice and snow,” said Shelton. “There were no injuries.”
Earlier in the morning, a tractor-trailer from Huntersville jackknifed on Hwy. 89, spilling 70 gallons of fuel, according to Shelton. A second truck went off the road in order to miss hitting the first one.
Shelton said the spilled fuel was pumped from the ditch, and a follow-up will be done when the snow melts to remove any residual spill.
According to the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Virginia, two to five inches of snow had been reported across the county, with Lowgap reporting four-and-a-half inches, and Elkin and Bottom (Beulah) both reporting two-and-a-half inches.
The snow was slowing down in early afternoon, according to Phil Hysell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, who predicted it would end by 4 p.m.
Hysell said that was consistent with the Winter Weather Advisory the weather service had posted, which he said is for an expected two to five inches of snow.
“You need to monitor weather events frequently,” he said. Two to three days out, it looked like less. But as the event drew closer, the forecast was revised, he said.
“The DOT (Department of Transportation) has been working hard,” said Shelton. But it’s still going to be hazardous going into the night. I’m not sure what it will look like.”
All area schools were closed on Monday, and spokespersons for Surry County and Mount Airy City Schools had not made a decision about Tuesday cancellations.
Carrie Venable, speaking on behalf of Mount Airy City Schools said, “I spoke with Jason Dorsett, our chief operations officer. Tomorrow’s schedule is hard to determine at this time. We will be waiting to see the type of melting that occurs.”
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.