Icy Conditions Expected Across Central N.C. on Thursday


Updated: 4:25 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021:

Duke University and Duke University Health System plan to operate on a normal schedule on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.

The latest forecasts suggest light precipitation will continue this evening and Friday morning. Temperatures will hover around freezing, and there is a chance of light ice accumulations mostly on trees and powerlines overnight. Any frozen precipitation should end around 7 a.m. Friday. While pavement temperatures should remain above freezing, there could be slick areas during the morning commute, especially on elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses. Individuals should use extreme caution and allow extra time for travel in the morning.

Classes will continue as scheduled, and surveillance testing on campus will resume a normal schedule with all locations reopening Friday morning.

Most Duke Health clinics will open on time at their usual business hours. For clinic locations and hours, visit dukehealth.org.

Additional information updates will be posted as conditions warrant.

Updated: 12:05 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021: 

Gates at PG1 and PG2 are down and operating normally. Any permit holders that entered this morning will be allowed to exit without charge. Entry and exit gates at PG3 will remain up, and staff are encouraged to use that location for parking near the medical center.

Updated: 11:15 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021:

All face to face classes scheduled to start after 11:45 a.m. today will commence as originally planned, unless adjusted by the faculty member. 

Updated: 8:15 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021

After early morning rain, the roads, parking lots and building entrances remain in good shape with no ice accumulation. There is some glazing of trees and other elevated structures. The ground is oversaturated and trees with even a little icing could potentially fall as a result. There are no power outages reported at Duke facilities. 


  • Duke Health clinics will delay opening for patients until 10 a.m., but staff should report as scheduled. For details about the status of clinics, visit the Duke Health website
  • The COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Karsh Visitor and Alumni Center will open at 8 a.m. The parking lot and building entrances are in good shape and have been treated as a precaution.  


  • The C1: East-West, SWS: Swift Avenue Shuttle, LL: LaSalle Loop and H2: Hospital Loop are operational at this time. 
  • Duke Van services will begin at 6 p.m. 
  • The PR1: Bassett-Research, CWS: Smith Warehouse and H5: Broad-Erwin routes are all canceled. Smith Warehouse customers should use the C1: Maxwell Avenue bus stop on Campus Drive.


  • The top level of parking garages will be closed until conditions allow for safe parking. Otherwise, all parking garages will operate normally on Thursday, Feb. 18. 
  • Science Dr. Garage and Green Zone customers may park in the Circuit lot on Feb. 18. Use your permit to access the gates. 
  • Health System customers who use remote lots with permit types R1, R2, R3 and MIL may park in the new "H" lot at the intersection of Anderson Street and Lewis Street or Parking Garage 3 on Pratt Street.  

Click here for additional details.

Recreational Facilities:

  • Duke Recreation & Physical Education facilities will have a delayed opening on Thursday because of inclement weather.
  • Wilson Recreation Center, Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion and Red Mango Cafe will all open at noon. Physical education classes and reservations before noon are canceled.

Update Feb. 17, 2021 at 6:27 p.m.:

Due to the forecast of ice accumulation early Thursday, Duke will make several operational changes for Thursday, but will not activate the severe weather policy. 

All on-site classes in Durham beginning before 11:45 a.m. Thursday will be canceled or moved to online delivery, if possible. Online/remote classes will continue as scheduled. Instructors will be asked to inform students as to the mode of delivery/relevant links for classes on Thursday morning.  Duke Health clinics will delay opening for patients until 10 a.m., but staff should report as scheduled. For details about the status of clinics, visit the Duke Health website

COVID-19 surveillance testing will resume at noon Thursday ONLY for on-campus undergraduate students. All other students scheduled for a test on Thursday will be notified when their test will be rescheduled. 

Those traveling to or from the worksite should use extreme caution and allow extra time. Crews began pretreating roads, walkways, and building entrances today and will be on-site early Thursday to assess conditions and clear/treat any problem areas on campus. In the event of any downed trees or power lines, contact Duke Police at 919-684-2444.

Most power lines on Duke’s main campus are underground, so power supply should be fairly resilient. For any power outages for Duke facilities on or off campus, please call Facilities Management customer service 919-684-2122 or send email to fmd-report-power-out@duke.edu and include the physical address of the building. For off-site facilities served by Duke Energy, please check their website for area outages

Beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday, the top level of parking garages on campus will be closed as a precaution. Gates to the garages will be open on Thursday, and essential service staff are encouraged to use the parking garages where possible to allow crews to treat and clear parking lots. Members of the Duke community should use priority snow/ice clearing routes to travel to and from campus buildings during winter weather since normal routes may not be cleared or treated initially.

Bus routes will depend on weather conditions. Every effort will be made to continue the C-1 and H-2 bus routes, weather permitting. 
Duke community members are encouraged to stay informed by checking Duke Today for additional updates.

-- Original Post

Duke officials are closely monitoring weather forecasts for central North Carolina that currently project an accumulation of sleet and freezing rain on Thursday. 

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Durham and Orange counties until 7 a.m. Friday and a winter weather advisory for Wake County. Ice accumulations of a quarter to a half inch are expected along and north of I-85 with ice accumulations ranging from a light glaze to a quarter of an inch in Wake and other counties just south of the interstate.

Accumulation will likely to be heavier at the start of the event and become somewhat lighter Thursday late morning, then re-intensify Thursday afternoon and evening before changing to rain Friday morning.

Power outages and hazardous road conditions will be possible through this warning period, especially across the Triad and north near the Virginia border. Trees that were weakened by last week’s storm may come down with this storm.

Crews will be on-site assessing conditions and clearing or treating any problem areas on campus. In the event of any downed trees or power lines, contact Duke Police at 919-684-2444. Any power outages on campus should be reported to Facilities Management at 919-684-2122.

Please remind your faculty and staff to review the priority clearing map to determine the preferred paths of travel during severe weather, which may differ from their normal routines. Members of the Duke community should use extreme caution when traveling to and around campus in case there are icy spots.

If Duke activates the Severe Weather and Emergency Conditions policy, officials will send notification via the DukeALERT system, including text message, email, the DukeALERT website and the web alert bar. A message also will be recorded on the severe weather/emergency conditions telephone line at 684-INFO (4636). Faculty and staff who are not already registered should sign up for text message updates from the DukeALERT system.

Given the possibility of severe weather, please review Duke's severe weather and emergency conditions policy regarding what to do if the policy is activated.

During times of severe weather, some staff positions require on-site presence to continue operations. All jobs should be assigned a service category by the manager to ensure continuous operations of patient care, student support and research functions. Managers should ensure staff members are aware of the service category for their position and how they will be notified if the severe weather policy is activated. The three categories are:

  • Essential Service: during severe weather/emergency conditions, essential service staff report or remain at work. 
  • Reserve Service: during severe weather/emergency conditions, reserve service staff are assigned a status at the time of severe weather/emergency condition. 
  • Delayed Service: during severe weather/emergency conditions, delayed service staff do not report to work or remain at work.

More information about the policy, including a map of priorities for clearing roads, lots and sidewalks, checklists and answers to frequently asked questions, is available at the Duke Emergency Management website. Additional information updates will be posted as conditions warrant.