Juniors Avery Calhoun and Hannah Davis left their Mill Creek apartment Wednesday for a quick trip to Harris Teeter for some groceries.
Little did they know, they would be walking back.
“We were driving back and everyone was sliding around right in front of us, so we just ended up pulling over and walked all the way back since then,” Calhoun said.
Davis said the storm started so suddenly, they weren’t prepared for the slippery drive home.
“We got to Harris Teeter, and it was barely snowing at all and then — 10 minutes later — this,” Davis said.
Classes will be canceled today until 8 a.m. Friday, according to a press release from the Department of Public Safety on Wednesday.
Anantha Aiyyer, an N.C. State University professor who studies meteorology, said he expects sleet to continue on and off into today.
He said the region will likely get an inch or two of sleet today and possibly more snow.
This snow storm comes about two weeks after Winter Storm Leon slammed the South. Aiyyer said it’s hard to predict, but there’s a chance that the region could get another winter storm before spring, as it has been unusually cold this year.
Brandon Thomas, spokesman for Carolina Dining Services, said all campus dining services will be closed except Rams Head and Lenoir Dining Halls. He said employees were provided shelter at local hotels and transportation.
Officials were also responding to stranded residents across the county.
Wednesday’s winter storms overloaded the Orange County Emergency Services department’s call center with residents’ calls for help.
Chapel Hill police asked all residents involved in minor accidents Wednesday to exchange information with one another and report it today.
Chapel Hill police spokesman Lt. Josh Mecimore said police didn’t have information about the number of car accidents Wednesday.
At one point, the Chapel Hill Police Department tweeted that officers were called to respond to nine crashes in a five-minute span around 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The police department closed parts of U.S. Highway 15-501 and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Wednesday after residents couldn’t make it up steep parts of the roads.
Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency Tuesday. He urged people to stay off the roads, even telling reporters that he wouldn’t be able to make the UNC-Duke game.
Between midnight and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, N.C. Highway Patrol troopers responded to 1,360 service calls across the state — the average number of service calls a day is 800 .
Thousands of power outages were reported across the state, and more are expected in the next couple of days.
A Duke Energy spokeswoman said Tuesday night that there are about 3,400 field workers across North Carolina and South Carolina to help with reparations.
Calhoun and Avery could attest to the treacherous conditions on roadways as they made the walk back to Mill Creek with plenty of grocery bags, beer and wine in hand.
“We took all of the essentials,” they said in unison.
Snow and ice survival guide:
Because the University is operating under Condition 3, all offices are closed. For updates, check unc.edu as well as dailytarheel.com:
- All classes are canceled and offices are closed until Friday at 8 a.m.
- All campus libraries are closed.
- UNC Campus Recreation facilities are closed, and Student Stores is closed.
Chapel Hill Shelters
The Orange County Emergency Services department will open two emergency shelters today if residents lose power or heat:
- The first shelter will be at C.W. Stanford Middle School in Hillsborough.
- The second shelter will open at Smith Middle School in Chapel Hill.
Chapel Hill Transit
Chapel Hill Transit will operate as conditions allow today:
- The department will update its inclement weather page with bus route closures at bit.ly/1aWkySx.
- Students should take extra care when boarding the buses and while waiting at bus stops.
- The department ended service on many of its local routes Wednesday.
Carolina Dining Services said students will be able to eat at the following locations Thursday:
- Rams Head and Lenoir Dining Halls will open at 9 a.m. today.
- All other Carolina Dining Services locations will remain closed unless otherwise noted.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.