By TOM WOERNER
Of The Record Staff
Harnett and surrounding areas are enjoying some warmth after near record low temperatures following snow and ice which fell over the weekend.
Snow and ice finally began to disapppear Tuesday after temperatures broke the freezing mark. Earlier in the week, temperatures plummeted to single digits overnight Sunday and Monday.
According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, there were accidents throughout the area that were attributed to the ice.
Trooper Chad Summerlin of the North Carolina Department of Public Services Public Information office said troopers monitored accidents during the period of midnight Saturday to 6 a.m. Monday. It is not known exactly how many of the accidents were directly attributed to the winter storm.
Mr. Summerlin said during that period there were 607 accidents in Troops B and C which includes Harnett, Johnston and Sampson counties, as well as several other counties.
Statewide there were 1,650 accidents that were investigated during the specified time period.
Students in Harnett, Johnston and Sampson counties enjoyed a snow day Monday. While Sampson students returned Tuesday, schools were closed in Harnett and Johnston counties.
First a two-hour delay was announced in Harnett County for Tuesdayday, but it was later made a teacher workday, with students getting another day off. The decision came after Superintendent Stan Williams, Transportation Director Kevin Griffin and others drove into areas where ice is traditionally a problem. Harnett County had little to no impact from the storm in southern areas of the county including in the Overhills attendance area. Harnett County Schools Director of Public Relations Patricia Harmon-Lewis said that promoted calls about why school was canceled.
Mrs. Harmon-Lewis said no decision has been made about when snow days will be made up.
Make-up days in Johnston and Sampson have also not been announced.
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Electrial service has now been restored throughout the area, with no major outages reported Tuesday. According to Duke Energy, 4,000 people statewide remained without power as of noon Monday but by Tuesday most of those customers had power service restored . The peak out of the outage period came early Saturday morning when customers in the Angier and Coats areas temporarily lost electrical service.
Local plumbers traditionally become more busy because of broken pipes after they freeze in cold weather.
Dunn plumber Bob Owen said he responded to one call Monday of a frozen pipe, which is fewer than incidents in extremely cold weather in the past.
“What I am seeing is that people are doing a better insulating their pipes, so it doesn’t seem like there are as many calls as there used to be,” Mr. Owen said.