Snow falls, but not as heavily as expected

By Curt VincentBy Erin Smith

January 29, 2014

Bladen County received more of a brushing from Winter Storm Leon that swept through the region overnight on Tuesday than the expected full brunt of its potential.

The forecast called for the possibility of 5 to 8 inches of snow, with a good mix of sleet and freezing rain, between Tuesday evening and mid-morning on Wednesday.

But less than 2 inches of snow fell on the area in the young hours of Wednesday — coming after a bout with freezing rain and sleet between 3:15 and 10 p.m. Tuesday.

By 2 a.m. on Wednesday, all precipitation had ended in most areas.

Blair Schroeder a spokesman for Duke Energy, said that there were no reported outages in Bladen County. He noted that the majority of the precipitation received was in the form of sleet rather than freezing rain.

“That is certainly better for the power delivery system. Overall our system performed well,” said Schroeder.

He added that at the peak of the storm Duke Energy had about 4,000 customers in both North and South Carolina that experienced power outages.

Gay Johnson of Four County Electric also reported that, as of Wednesday morning, there had been no power outages in Bladen County.

Chief Deputy Rodney Hester with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office said the weather event was uneventful.

“There were no problems,” he said. “Power outages were the main concern and that turned out to not be a problem.

“As long as folks stay home and give DOT a chance to get the roads clear, we’ll be OK,” he added.

Bladen County EMs Director Bradley Kinlaw eshoed Hester’s comments.

“There have been no issues at this time. No power outages that we know of and no trees or limbs (down) so far,” he said.

The prediction for heavy amounts of snow, along with a winter weather warning for Tuesday and Wednesday, forced the closing of all Bladen County schools, including Bladen Community College, on Tuesday and Wednesday. In addition, all government offices were closed both days.

High school basketball games for East Bladen and West Bladen were also postponed from Tuesday and Wednesday.

Residents awoke Wednesday to find a thin layer of snow resting atop an icy foundation, but snowplows were out all night clearing the main roads.

Although the winter weather warning remains in effect throughout most of Wednesday, Bladen County is expected to reach a high of 32 degrees with only a slight chance of additional precipitation after the early morning hours.