Slippery road conditions Monday morning in Highland County shut down all five of the county’s school systems and reportedly caused three minor car accidents, but ice and snow on the county’s thoroughfares gave way to slush in the afternoon as a thaw worked its way through the area.
Highland County Engineer Dean Otworth told The Times-Gazette that roads were “very slick” Monday morning, and Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera said three minor car accidents were reportedly caused by slippery conditions.
Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Public Information Officer Branden Jackman said no serious weather-related emergencies were reported.
All five Highland County school systems were closed on Monday due to icy roads.
According to Otworth, road crews were out early Monday morning, and were expected to be on the go throughout the day and into the evening checking local roadways for slick spots.
Otworth said while roads around the county were mostly clear during the day, he expected a re-freeze in the overnight hours and into Tuesday.
The county engineer once again warned motorists to use caution and allow extra time for travel.
“Just take your time,” Otworth said. “Don’t get in a hurry… We would caution people again, give yourself a little extra time going to work. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Mel McKenzie said Monday that city workers prioritized clearing the main roadways in Hillsboro, and “have done a great job.”
Sunday marked the first day temperatures went above the freezing mark since Dec. 24 at the National Weather Service station in Wilmington, according to NWS meteorologist Steve Hrebenach, and meteorologists predict warmer weather will work its way through the area this week.
“We’re looking at a pretty significant warm-up over the next several days,” Hrebenach said.
Thursday’s forecast shows temperatures near 60 degrees, Hrebenach said, but the warm temps are not expected to last through the weekend.
According to Hrebenach, a weather system bringing possible precipitation is expected to roll through the area on Friday and Saturday followed by a wall of cold air.
“It’s really way too far out to be talking about specifics,” Hrebenach said, “but it’s a system that’s going to be worth watching… We’ll be back with cold temperatures over the weekend no matter how much precipitation we get Friday and Saturday.”
For a detailed weather report and forecast for Highland County and surrounding areas, check out page 5 in any print edition of The Times-Gazette.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.