For video from Greenfield Heights Boulevard, click here: http://widget.newsinc.com/_cfvp/playlist16x9_player.html?CID=15348&WID=25274&VID=25573200&freewheel=91764&sitesection=havenews_hom_non_fro&external_url=http://www.havenews.com/
Craven County Schools will be closed on Friday as snow turned to ice on roads, creating problems for some drivers.
A portion of Greenfield Heights Boulevard was closed Thursday after several cars slide into ditches.
School officials said in a statement that the roads were simply not safe.
"School administrators have been out monitoring the roads today, and while some of the main roads are passable, the secondary roads across the county are a solid sheet of ice," said Jennifer Wagner, director of public relations for the school system. "Forecasted temperatures are not expected to get above freezing today (Thursday) and are expected to drop back down this evening. With these conditions, the roads will not be safe in the morning for students and staff to travel to school."
As an example of the road conditions, the N.C. Highway Patrol initially blocked a part of Greenfield Heights Boulevard outside Havelock between Gray Road and Sunset Drive but later expanded the closure to near Food Lion on the west end of Havelock.
A curvy section of the road was so slick that one vehicle after another became stuck. Even motorists with four-wheel-drive became stuck.
Residents rallied together to assist one another in pushing vehicles free.
Ryan Warner, a National Weather Service Skywarn Storm Chaser, was one of those stuck in the ice. Adding injury to the insult, he fell hard on the ice as he tried to help other motorists.
“I did fall a couple of times trying to assist other vehicles out,” he said. “They just don’t understand just how unsafe these roads are right now,” Warner said.
Warner said drivers should not venture out.
“I would say if they can stay at home, stay at home,” Warner said.
Crystal Saldana was another one of those stuck.
“I was trying to get home from work. I just kept sliding. That’s all we’re doing is sliding everywhere,” Saldana said.
At one point, Saldana joined Jeremy Wears, Tamara Gibson and Zach Crone in helping get other drivers free from the ice by pushing their vehicles.
One of them was Yvette Clarke.
“We were trying to turn in here, and as we were turning, his tail end started going right and it went over to the edge and he was stuck,” Clarke said.
North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper R.J. Onofrio said only local residents would be allowed to venture into the closed area.
Onofrio said that the N.C. Department of Transportation was going to work to improve the conditions on the road.
The weather prompted business and government closings, and postponements.
The Havelock Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee postponed its Family of the Quarter event until 6 p.m. Tuesday, and the chamber’s business before hours event scheduled for Tuesday at Gurganus Elementary School was rescheduled for Feb. 25.
Annunciation Catholic School rescheduled its open house for 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 6.
The Coastal 3A Conference cheerleading championships scheduled for Saturday has been postponed until Feb. 8 at Havelock High School.
Havelock city offices, including parks and recreation and the senior center, were closed Thursday. Trash pickup is also not scheduled for Thursday, and court in Havelock was canceled.
St. Paul Lutheran Church has postponed its scheduled blood drive from Friday until Feb. 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cherry Point was closed Thursday to workers unless specifically designated by supervisors. All Cherry Point workers are expected to return to work by noon on Friday. Workers can call 466-3093 for more information. Fleet Readiness Center East will be closed on Friday, with schedules returning to normal on Monday.
Delivery of the Windsock and Havelock News also may be delayed on account of the weather.
One event not impacted by the weather is the Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation Gala scheduled for Friday night at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center. Foundation officials said the fundraising event would go on as planned, as temperatures Friday are predicted to approach near 50 degrees.
The thaw continues over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service, with highs near 60 Saturday and around 65 on Sunday, with a chance of rain.