Freezing temps finally come to an end

W. Curt Vincent Editor

January 6, 2014

Bladen County officially topped the 32-degree mark at 10:35 Wednesday morning, ending 36 straight hours of below-freezing temperatures sent through the region by the arctic blast being called a “polar vortex.”

The initial frostiness that began to creep into Bladen County on Monday night packed less of a wallop for area residents than expected. Reports from the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office showed no problems in the way of power outages or broken water lines.

Mother Nature’s frigid fingers did reach into the area enough to give Bladen County it’s lowest temperature on record — 14 degrees — recorded at Curtis L. Brown Field Airport at 7:35 a.m. for Jan. 7. That included a wind-chill of 4 degrees, thanks to winds of 8 to 10 mph, and the county was put under a wind-chill advisory from 3 to 9 a.m. by the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

The previous record low for that date was 16 degrees in 1999.

The record low of 16 degrees for Jan. 8 in 1968 was tied on Wednesday at 6:15 a.m. The morning wind chill made it feel like 13 degrees.

The frigid temperatures did cause officials with Bladen County Schools to put all schools on a two-hour delay for students on Tuesday and Wednesday. Schools in Robeson, Sampson and Columbus counties were also put on delays both days.

The cold weather, however, did not disrupt any of the scheduled athletic events on Tuesday.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are expected to hit 60 degrees on Friday and 70 degrees on Saturday with a good chance for rain both days. On Sunday, the area should see sunny and clear skies with a high in the low to mid-60s.