According to the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, snowfall amounts varied across the county — Tar Heel received four inches; Elizabethtown two and a half inches; White Oak three inches; Tobermory two and a half inches; and White Lake four inches.
According to the National Weather Service, this is the most significant snowfall Bladen has seen since 2003.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation and Division of Highways crews worked diligently Monday to prepare N.C. 87 and U.S. 701 for the snowfall ahead of the storm, according to District Engineer Drew Cox.
“We had about 150 tons of salt applied,” said Cox. “We put down around 75 to 100 gallons of salt brine solution to 87 and 701 ahead of the event.”
This is the first that Bladen and Columbus county DOT crews have utilized the salt brine solution, according to Cox.
“We are really satisfied with how it worked. We could tell a lot of difference between areas treated with the brine solution and those that were not,” said Cox. “We did have some slush on the roadways earlier on Tuesday, but we did not have a lot of ice on the roads Wednesday morning.”
The county residents, government offices and businesses took the storm very seriously, said Bladen County Emergency Management Director Mitchell Byrd.
“The schools made an early call to go ahead and close which allowed parents to make necessary arrangements for them,” said Byrd. “This was more of a snow event which we haven’t had in a while.”
There were no power outages reported to EMS by Wednesday morning, said Byrd.
He estimated about 10 to 15 wrecks were responded to by the county fire departments and Bladen County EMS.
“I think we did really well,” said Byrd of the county’s response to the storm.
“I think the staff handled it really well,” said County Manager Greg Martin.
The decision was made early Tuesday morning to close county government offices and county staff reported to work on Wednesday on a two-hour delay.
“Things went really well,” said Martin.
Bladen County Schools made a decision on Monday morning to cancel classes for Tuesday. On Tuesday afternoon, it was announced on the school board’s Web site that classes would be canceled again on Wednesday.
However, the county’s students will have make up days on Thursday and Friday of this week. Those two days were originally scheduled to be teacher work days.
N.C. DOT had skeleton crews on duty Tuesday night to work the bridges and troublesome spots, but overall, there were few problems with bridges and roads reported, according to Cox on Wednesday.
Bladen County was not the only place to see significant snowfall. The entire state was blanketed from the mountains to the coast, prompting Governor Beverly Perdue to declare a state of emergency.
According to the release, Perdue called the declaration on Tuesday a precautionary measure, which allows the governor to authorize and deploy extra resources to assist local governments affected by the storm.