A safe and fun snow day
Snow, ice cause minor accidents
By Matt Harrelson
No snow gear? No problem.
Kids and adults alike made do Wednesday what whatever sledding equipment was available, be it trash can lids or surfboards. Many found their way to a snowy slope.
All schools in Richmond County, including RCC, were closed due to the weather on Wednesday. Richmond County Schools also are closed Thursday, as are Richmond Community College and District Court.
The sudden day off allowed Sam West and his kids — Billy, 7, Matt, 10, and Sydney, 18 — to enjoy racing down Clay Hill in Hamlet in their plastic sleds.
West, is familiar with snow as he mentioned the blizzards in 1989 and 2000. Billy and Matt have had little if any experience with sledding, and it was evident once they got on the plastic boards. Both ended up pinned on the side of the street before approaching the peak of the hill, but they didn’t give up.
West and friend David Adeimy were giving pointers to the kids on how they should lean their bodies to control the boards. West even got on a tradition metal sled to show his kids how it’s really done and to get some enjoyment himself.
One of the more popular hills in Rockingham is located directly behind PNC bank and across the street from The Daily Journal in downtown Rockingham.
Gracie Self, 6, enjoyed her day off from East Rockingham Elementary School by scooting down the hill with her cousin, Logan, as best they could on their red surfboard. They were both having a great time and being covered in snow after crashing didn’t seem to bother them. It seemed both were just happy to be out of school.
“I’m excited to be out of school today and tomorrow and maybe Friday,” Self said.
A light snow fall that quickly turned Richmond County roadways to sheets of ice hit late Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning, but the consequences could have been much worse.
Darin Figurskey, with the National Weather Service in Raleigh, reported a couple of inches of snow and sleet mix fell in Richmond County over the night. Temperatures remained at or below freezing for the entire day, but by the weekend should reach 60 degrees.
The Rockingham Police Department reported only two accidents, both on Long Drive. In one instance, a car hit a sign. Another accident involved two-car collision. No injuries were reported in either incident.
Hamlet Police Department, meanwhile, had three accidents: one rear-end collision on Highway 177 near Spring Street, and a vehicle driving into a ditch on the same highway. On Highway 74 near Fifth Street, a two-car wreck was reported after a car crossed the center lane and struck an oncoming vehicle. Again, no injuries in any incident were reported.
After reaching out to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, they reported five accidents, four of which were on secondary roads. A collision took place on Mill Road off of Long Drive, three property damage accidents happened on Wiregrass Road and a fourth property damage took place on Interstate 73, just east of DeWitt Trucking. No injuries were reported in these mishaps.
Ten accidents may sound like a lot, but there could have been more fender-benders throughout the county. This was due to the Public Works Departments in Richmond County and the N.C. Department of Transportation working to lay a coat of salt brine on as many roads as possible. Each police department spoken to said that main roads were fine but caution should still be taken on secondary roads.
All the streets in downtown Rockingham were clear, as well as all the main roads throughout Rockingham and Hamlet. Highway 74 was one of the first roads to be completely free of snow and ice around 11 a.m.
Duke Energy’s website posted there were no reports of power outages for Richmond County.
Staff writer Lisa Rushing contributed to this story.
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