Storms preempt fireworks, area under heat advisory

W. Curt Vincent -

Before any of the July 4 fireworks could get started on Monday, Mother Nature provided the region with her own set of fireworks and loud booms in the form of a formidable storm that brought heavy winds, plenty of rain and abundant lightning.

Though wind gusts reached nearly 60 mph in surrounding counties, Monday’s winds were clocked at about 10 mph at Curtis L. Brown Jr. Field in Elizabethtown when the storm was battering Cumberland and Robeson counties.

But the lightning associated with the storm did do damage in Bladen County.

According to Bradley Kinlaw, emergency services director, lightning struck the Mount Horeb well site near Lisbon on Monday and created a substantial pressure loss for residents in the area.

“Bladen County Water Department staff is currently working to fully restore the service,” Kinlaw said in a statement sent at 9:26 a.m. Tuesday. “Customers that are experiencing pressure loss are advised to boil water prior to drinking until further notice.”

The National Weather Service in Wilmington claims on its website that Bladen County has been put under a heat advisory until Tuesday at 7 p;.m. — but more heat is expected through the weekend, which could bring with it severe thunderstorms every day this week and additional heat advisories.

Temperatures are expected to easily reach the mid-90s and even near the 100-degree mark, which means the heat index could reach as high as 110 degrees.

In addition, with the severe storms pounding the area recently, flooding is expected to become a concern throughout the region.

That has already caused the closing of the Elwell Ferry on the Cape Fear River because of rising water. Operators are hoping to put the ferry back in service as soon as Wednesday.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

W. Curt Vincent

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