Wintry weather prompts school closings
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Jan 18, 2013 | 971 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During the past 24 hours, Bradley County and its surrounding areas have experienced a number of weather changes. Thursday during a phone conference with the National Weather Service, emergency managers and planners got an overview of what could be expected.

Both directors of schools dismissed classes early, canceled after-school activities and as the evening unfolded and rain turned to sleet, then to snow, classes for today were called off due to anticipated black ice and patches of frozen precipitation.

The overnight low was 25 degrees recorded at the Cleveland Utilities Dry Valley Road weather station.

Icing was evident along roadways and black ice was prominent on Blue Springs Road, Hunt Road and other areas.

Charleston Police Department reported icy conditions on Cass Lane and other areas.

Before the event began, officials sat in the teleconference with NWS Warning Coordinator Meteorologist Anthony Cavallucci.

He announced several changes in the weather system. Officials were briefed Wednesday of the possibility of ice and snow, as well as continued flooding in areas saturated with rain.

“The big threat was low temperatures overnight,” said Curtis Cline, administrative officer for Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency.

“All of the water from rainfall, sleet and then snow didn’t have a chance to dissipate. The expected low temperature did cause issues, producing slick spots, mostly in the rural areas of [Bradley] County,” Cline said.

As the event began and radar began indicating ice mixed with rainfall, school children in Bradley County and Cleveland were safe at home. High winds associated with the system created blustery conditions, but did help in drying up area roadways.

Cline said emergency managers in Cherokee, N.C., reported a 60 mph gust.

A high wind gust in Bradley County was recorded at 37 mph. Trees reportedly toppled in many areas of the county and city due to the high winds and saturated ground, causing mostly localized power outages.

Snowfall was heavy and wet, just as Cavallucci predicted; however, it was short-lived.

“There will be a lot of snow to fall in a very short time,” he told officials. Accumulation was minimal due to the short duration of the snowfall.

Those in attendance at the CBCEMA Emergency Operations Center included representatives from the Bradley County Schools including Director Johnny McDaniel, Cleveland Fire Chief Steve Haun, 911 director Joe Wilson and others.

Sunshine is expected over the next few days with daytime highs reaching toward 50 degrees and nighttime lows dipping near freezing.