Here’s what you need to know:

  • The National Weather Service in Raleigh has issued a winter storm advisory for Alamance County until Friday at 7 a.m.
  • Elon University classes are canceled for Feb. 18. Offices are also closed.
  • The NWS in Raleigh said that between 0.1 and 0.3 inches of ice accumulation is possible.

Updated Feb. 18 at 1:42 p.m.

Young Commons on Feb. 17, before the winter storm (left) and during the winter storm advisory on Feb. 18 (right). Photos by Clare Grant.

Updated Feb. 18 at 1:29 p.m.

Winter storm cancels weekly COVID-19 testing leaving some students feeling uncertain
Clare Grant | Elon News Network

The lights are off in Alumni Gym, the location of weekly COVID-19 testing. Due to Elon University closing on Feb. 18, Thursday COVID-19 tests have been cancelled. Those who were scheduled to come on Thursday still have to get tested either Friday or Saturday.

Updated Feb. 18 at 1:05 p.m.

Alamance County Commissioner John Paisley issued a state of emergency for the county on Feb. 18. This state of emergency is in response to severe winter weather and ice expected from the incoming winter storm. 

Paisley said the state of emergency aligns Alamance County with the emergency status of North Carolina and allows the county to receive additional aid from emergency services and power crews. 

“It puts us in line for emergency status with the state of North Carolina so that if we do need extra power crews or emergency services or anything of that sort then we’re allowed to do that,” Paisley said.

Paisley also urged Alamance County residents to prepare for the winter weather by having an emergency heat source if power outages occur and to have a stash of canned goods along with a supply of water. 

“We just need to all be smart today. If you don’t need to be outside today, stay inside,” Paisley said.

The state of emergency for Alamance County in response to the winter storm is expected to last through Friday. 

Updated Feb. 18 at 12:53 p.m.

The NWS in Raleigh said the winter storm warning is now a winter storm advisory until 7 a.m. Friday. The advisory said there's "a continued threat of icing."

Updated Feb 18 at 12:01 p.m.

Updated Feb. 18 at 11:55 a.m.

Despite the ice storm halting classes, clubs and other services at Elon University today, most restaurants in the town of Elon are remaining open with normal operating hours. The businesses with hours that have been affected by the storm are Oak House and Acorn Coffee Shop. Oak House will open at noon, and Acorn Coffee Shop will be closed for the day. 

Updated Feb. 18 at 11:46 a.m.

The men’s basketball home game against The College of William & Mary has been postponed due to the winter storm. The game has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 22. The Saturday game against the Tribe in Williamsburg is still set to happen.

Updated Feb. 18 at 10:35 a.m.

Volleyball’s season-opening away match at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has been postponed due to winter weather conditions. The game was scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. A decision on whether or not the match will be rescheduled will be made at a later date.

Updated Feb. 18 at 10:28 a.m.

Weekly COVID-19 testing for students that was canceled for Thursday will be rescheduled for either Friday or Saturday, according to an email received by students who had a Thursday testing time.

Updated Feb. 18 at 10:21 a.m.

Sophomore Mahogany Madden-Roberts said that canceling classes was in the best interests of student safety.

“I thought the early cancellation of school due to the ice storm was an appropriate decision,” Madden-Roberts wrote to Elon News Network. “In addition, I felt the email sent was very clear that for the best interest of everyone’s safety, no classes should be held.” 

With campus closed and classes canceled only a few Elon University students are in Moseley Center. Freshman Anna Perutz was one of those students and said she was not used to severe weather.

“There’s no drastic weather where I’m from. Here, they make a statement and everything and a big deal about what’s going to happen and it makes everybody worried and I’m not used to that sort of thing,” she said.

Updated Feb. 18 at 9:52 a.m.

Updated Feb. 18 at 8:22 a.m.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh extended the winter storm warning for Alamance County until Friday morning at 7 a.m. The previous warning was set to end this morning at 7 a.m.

Overnight, the storm began to freezing rain. As of 6:54 a.m., there were 0.23 inches of rain. The NWS in Raleigh expects between 0.1 to 0.3 inches of ice accumulation throughout the day.

Through Friday morning, the NWS in Raleigh still forecasts up to 0.5 inches of ice accumulation and 1.5  and 2.5 inches of rainfall in the county.

Updated Feb. 17 at 8:34 p.m.

The town of Elon Public Works department is preparing generators for “critical infrastructure” and has already placed ice on sidewalks and roads to prepare for incoming winter weather, according to Elon Town Manager Richard Roedner.

The generators will run the sewer pump stations, fire department, police department and town hall. Kathleen Patterson, downtown development administrator, said residents should call Duke Energy if they lose power or see power lines down.

The fire department has firefighters on call and is preparing specialty response crews for possible damage, including fallen trees, structure fires and vehicle collisions. Roedner wrote in an email to Elon News Network that the fire department is also preparing spaces for town employees who are working outside to warm up and rest.

The town police department is also planning their response and preparing equipment needed for road closures, according to Roedner. Town and university police “routinely coordinate efforts” and will continue to do so for the winter weather.

While public works will salt and sand town roads as needed over the course of the storm, Roedner said roads such as Williamson Avenue, University Drive and Haggard Avenue are maintained by the state. 

Updated Feb. 17 at 6:22 p.m.

Elon University will be closed tomorrow ahead of the winter storm forecasted to hit the state of North Carolina. Classes will be canceled, both on the main campus and at Elon Law in Greensboro, and university offices will be closed.

According to an email from Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley, faculty should contact students regarding classes and classwork. Dooley wrote that power and internet outages may impact the ability to do classes or assignments online.

According to university spokesman Owen Covington, Elon’s Psychical Plant is making arrangements to ensure the safety of the campus during the storm. 

“Physical Plant staff are gearing up for the winter weather and the anticipated ice accumulation through a number of activities around campus. They are preparing generators at several campus buildings, including dining halls, to provide power and heat in the event of a power outage. Crews are pretreating sidewalks to help reduce the impact from ice accumulation and are distributing needed supplies around campus such as salt, shovels and other necessary equipment. Additionally, Physical Plant is making preparations to ensure it has adequate staffing during this storm and taking steps to house staff members if they are unable to return home due to the weather," Covington wrote.

Antigen testing, as a part of weekly COVID-19 testing, was canceled for Thursday, according to the email. Students will be contacted about rescheduling their test. 

Alamance County Emergency Management is monitoring the weather and is increasing staffing, according to a representative of the department. It is suggesting residents be prepared for the first 72 hours of the storm and that it may take response crews that amount of time to get to their area depending on the damages.

Maeve Ashbrook, Kyra O'Connor, Brian Rea, Jinger Callwood, Miranda Ferrante, Claire Schoenfeld, Jack Norcross and Mackenzie Wilkes contributed to this report.