Sampson County continues to remain under a Winter Weather Advisory through the early evening today, as residents woke up Friday morning to wet roads and not the icy conditions that were predicted.
While a Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause difficult travel, officials from the Highway Patrol said roads were in pretty good condition. Despite the good conditions, school officials made the decision to cancel schools in both Sampson County and Clinton City Thursday evening, to err on the side of caution.
“There have been a few minor accidents, like people sliding off the road,” Highway Patrol Sergeant David Kinlaw said Friday morning. “Overall, the roads are in pretty good shape.”
Kinlaw said the southern end of the county was in good shape, while the northern end, towards Newton Grove and the Plainview area, had minor icy spots. Overpasses in town, Kinlaw said, had a small covering of ice.
The Highway Patrol has called in extra help for the weekend, Kinlaw said, as the department is preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best.
Both Sampson County and Clinton City schools were closed Friday, with the decision coming Thursday night as weather was forecast to bring snow and freezing rain to the area.
“The weather forecast for icy roads was the primary reason for canceling today,” Clinton City Schools superintendent Dr. Stuart Blount said Friday morning. “With the icy-wintery mix starting in the wee hours of the morning, the decision was made out of safety for our bus drivers, students and employees.”
As of lunch Friday, Blount said no decision has been made on making up the missed school day, but the board has decided to not have Saturday school tomorrow, Jan. 23. According to Blount, the system has a plan in place that allows students to make up school on a Saturday of the same week as the missed day.
Sampson County Schools superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy said the county will make a decision Monday about making up today.
“We made the decision today based on the weather predictions and the threat of inclement weather,” Bracy said.
The winter weather is expected to continue falling through Friday and Saturday, with temperatures continuing to plummet in the early morning hours of Saturday. Saturday’s forecast calls for snow with highs in the low 30s. Conditions should improve Sunday as the forecast calls for sunny skies and higher temperatures.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.