Tropical Storm Hermine, which had worn down over land after flirting with hurricane strength over Florida, brushed past Bladen County on Friday and left behind a solid soaking and wind-blown tree limbs.
Gov. Pat McCrory declared a State of Emergency on Friday to assist with storm preparation and response while, locally, Bladen County Schools were on an early release — letting students out at staggered times around noon — and the usual Friday night football games had already been moved and played on Thursday.
During and shortly after Hermine’s visit, reports of minor flooding popped up around the region, including along Twisted Hickory Road in Bladen County. The N.C. Department of Transportation reported the road was closed most of the weekend.
Wind advisories were issued by the National Weather Service in Wilmington for Bladen County on Friday, and gusts were reported at about 50 mph in the area. That brought down numerous tree limbs and, in some cases, entire trees.
Other area problems related to Hermine included:
— Several downed trees along N.C. 53 and N.C. 242 were reported and caused emergency crews to clear the roadways.
Power outages for about 300 Four County EMC customers were reported Friday night. Within a few hours, most power had been restored and Four County was dealing with only temporary outages for about 135 customers closer to midnight.
A power line was brought down by a tree limb near Walmart in Elizabethtown and blew a transformer on Friday at about 7:15 p.m., knocking out power for more than 400 customers in the area. All repairs had been made by Duke Energy within a few hours.
The heavy rain Friday caused the Elwell Ferry to be closed down.
According to the National Weather Service, a little more than 5 inches of rain fell throughout the day Friday in Bladen County.
By Saturday morning, about all that was left of Hermine were clouds and, in many places, the debris in yards to be cleaned up. Hermine continued up the East Coast and storm warnings for ocean surge were posted from Virginia Beach, Va., to Cape Cod, Mass., for Sunday and Monday.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.