Winter storm packing a punch in Bladen
By Erin Smith
ELIZABETHTOWN — Bladen County is getting hit ttoday with round two of a powerful winter storm that is making its way across the south. Today’s forecast holds an ominous perdition for one-quarter to one-half inch of ice on top of the 5 inches of snow already on the ground.
The National Weather Service is predicting there may be power outages later in the day and overnight on Wednesday.
Thus far Duke Progress Energy outage map is showing few problems and no outages in Bladen County. In a written statement, the company said they have power crews staged in Greensboro and Florence, S.C., and ready to respond in the event outages should occur later in the storm.
Gay Johnson with Four County Electric said on Wednesday morning there had been an outage in the wee hours of the morning in Bladen County involving one individual.
“We are on standby and waiting it out,” said Johnson of line crews.
Bladen County Emergency Management Director Bradley Kinlaw said that a decision on whether or not to open emergency shelters will be made later on Wednesday as his staff continues to monitor the progress of the storm.
Kinlaw said on Tuesday night, “We have shelter workers on standby.”
N.C. Department of Transportation said on Wednesday morning things were looking good.
“We are seeing some accumulations this morning,” said Drew Cox, NC DOT district engineer. “We are concerned about what will happen through the day today and in to tonight “Wednesday).”
Cox said motorists need to be aware that a road may look okay and actually be very slick.
“The ice forecast for today (Wednesday) is a concern with road conditions,” said Cox.
Motorists are urged to use extreme caution if they have to be out.
Winter Weather Pax has forced the closings of all Bladen County schools — including Bladen Community College — for Wednesday. All government offices and many businesses also plan to be closed.
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