Although a winter weather advisory was issued for the Cape Fear Region by the National Weather Service between Friday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at noon, Bladen County’s sum total of Mother Nature’s icy fingers included a good amount of rain, a little freezing precipitation and fluffy to miniscule snow flurries that barely left a white cover in many areas of the county.
Areas to the north of the Mother County weren’t as lucky, however, as the Interstate 95 corridor got hammered from North Carolina to New England by Winter Storm Jonas, dumping between 10 and 35 inches of snow.
Prior to the winter storm hitting on Friday, precautions were put in place throughout the area.
Schools in Bladen County were closed for students, faculty and administration on Friday. In addition, basketball games scheduled for Friday night were shifted to Thursday night. Also, SAT testing and driver’s education classes in Elizabethtown were postponed.
Most federal, state and county government and courts were closed on Friday.
All schools were back on a regular schedule Monday.
Grocery stores were seeing heavy traffic in and around Bladen County on Friday, as residents were busy emptying shelves of the basics like milk, bread and water.
North Carolina Department of Transportation crews were busy Thursday spreading a brine mixture on the heaviest-traveled roads like Hwy. 87 and N.C. 41.
By Saturday morning, much of the region was covered in ice, causing tree limbs and power lines to become dangerously heavy from the weight. At about mid-morning, Bladen County was getting blanketed by fluffy snow before it changed to a fine snow mist. The weight of the snow caused some residents in Bladenboro to lose power Saturday morning.
According to Bradley Kinlaw, Bladen County’s director of Emergency Management, Saturday morning saw the most accidents on the roadways.
“There were numerous accidents Saturday morning, mostly around the Dublin and Tar Heel area, but nothing serious,” he said. “We were certainly blessed compared to our neighbors to the west. We were right on the line and we’re certainly thankful for that. It could have been a lot worse.”
On Sunday, the morning dawned with bright sunshine that warmed the area up to 50 degrees and completely melted away the remnants of what Jonas brought the previous two days. That warmup was expected to continue through Tuesday, with rain forecast for Wednesday and Thursday as a slight cool-down moves in ahead of more warming temperatures for the weekend.
W. Curt Vincent and Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.