Schools close early as sleet continues

First Posted: 1/23/2015

Sleet early this morning led to city and county schools closing early.

Forecasters call for a mixture of rain and the icy stuff to continue this afternoon. Surry County Schools Director of Instructional Media and Information Sonia Dickerson confirmed high school drivers were dismissed at 10 a.m. with everyone else dismissed at 10:30 a.m.

Mount Airy City Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregory Little, noting forecasts calling for continued sleet and rain, dismissed its high school drivers at 10 a.m. as well with general dismissal following at 10:30 a.m.

“The forecast continued to get worse as the morning progressed,” said Little. “Once we saw the sleet we paid careful attention on how long it was predicted to continue into the afternoon. We are serious about early dismissals and we will always err on the side of students being safe.”

Surry County Emergency Services Director John Shelton said his latest information in at noon indicated roads around the area were generally in pretty good condition with no accidents reported in connection with the weather.

“We’re watching it pretty closely,” said Shelton. “The temperature is a big factor in what will happen today. Things don’t appear to be freezing yet. The northern and western portions of the county will be affected differently by lower temperatures. Basically, if the temperature drops we are going to have issues.”

Information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Blacksburg, Virginia, forecast little or no sleet accumulation for the remainder of the afternoon. Rain is predicted tonight, with the most falling before 10 p.m. and new precipitation between a quarter to half an inch possible. Lows are expected around 35 degrees.

Rains is expected Saturday before 1 p.m. followed by gradual clearing and a high of 44 degrees. New precipitation is expected to be less than a tenth of an inch.

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