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CMS and other area schools will close again Friday, despite Thursday’s thaw

Drone footage shows winter wonderland in east Charlotte

McAlpine Creek Park became a winter wonderland in east Charlotte, NC following Wednesday's snow storm. Temperatures began to rise and by the weekend Charlotte could see temperatures near 60.
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McAlpine Creek Park became a winter wonderland in east Charlotte, NC following Wednesday's snow storm. Temperatures began to rise and by the weekend Charlotte could see temperatures near 60.

In a decision that’s sure to leave some parents gnashing their teeth, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and surrounding districts announced schools will be closed for a third day Friday.

While most main roads are clear, officials say Thursday’s thaw hasn’t reached all side roads and school grounds.

“Although some main roads may be clear after Wednesday’s snowstorm, many neighborhood and access roads are not, especially in the northern part of our Mecklenburg County community,” the CMS statement said. “Sub-freezing temperatures are again expected overnight, resulting in refreezing and dangerous road conditions in the early morning hours. Temperatures and travel conditions are forecast to improve throughout the day.”

Police responded to more than 150 car crashes during a snowstorm in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said it had responded to 169 crashes as of 1 pm.

Besides CMS, public schools in Union, Iredell, Cabarrus and Gaston counties are closed for students Friday, though employees may have to report to work. All cited remaining icy roads in their area.

Central Piedmont Community College canceled Friday classes, while UNC Charlotte announced plans to reopen on a normal schedule.

CMS makeup days will be Jan. 22 and Feb. 19, with a third to be announced.

The winter storm landed during first semester exams for CMS high schools; Friday was supposed to be the last day of the semester. Principals will notify students and parents of exam schedule changes.

Thursday’s thaw created a tough call for district officials.

He doesn't want to be identified but the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department tweeted out a 15-second video of the officer lying in the snow, flapping his arms on Jan. 17, 2018. People have watched the video more than 7,400 times.

Wednesday’s and Thursday’s cancellations were as close to a no-brainer as you can get. Snow started piling up Wednesday morning, and a hard freeze Wednesday night left roads dangerous Thursday morning.

Now main roads are clear, and sunshine was gobbling up the snow that made the last two days so much fun. That means a lot of folks are ready to get back into their routines.

But as long as ice remains on side roads or school sidewalks and parking lots, district leaders have to decide how much risk they’re willing to take. Last January CMS caught flak for closing schools for two days when roads were clear in southern Mecklenburg County. The district said icy northern roads and shady school grounds posed too much hazard for students, employees and bus drivers.

Ann Doss Helms: 704-358-5033, @anndosshelms

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