LUMBERTON – Robeson County suffered minor damage from the first storm system of the year which brought rain, snow and winds to parts of the state on Sunday and Monday, according to the managing director county emergencies.
Stephanie Chavis, the Robeson County emergency management director and fire marshal, told the Robesonian on Tuesday that she had not received more reports of storm damage, including rain and high winds, since Monday.
Damage, straight winds
The tops of two exterior buildings were blown off by winds in a straight line on Sampson Road near Rowland, Chavis told the Robesonian on Monday.
“I have not received any information regarding damage to the houses,” Chavis said on Monday. “We asked someone to call a possible tornado.”
However, the National Weather Service told Chavis the radar was showing straight-line winds, she said.
A wind advisory was in effect until 3 p.m. Monday for Robeson County, according to the NWS. Gusts at Lumberton reached up to 60 mph.
Robeson County was also among other counties subject to a tornado warning Monday morning, that warning expired with no report of tornado damage.
A severe thunderstorm warning was in effect until 7:15 a.m. Monday for Robeson County. A tornado watch was issued until 11 a.m. Monday for parts of the state’s southeast, according to a statement from the NWS issued via the CodeRED alert system.
Power outages in Lumberton, damage
Members of the Lumberton public works team were working on Tuesday to remove trees that fell on Monday in the Fivemile Branch area on the east side of Fayetteville Road, said Robert Armstrong, director of the city’s public works department.
Armstrong said the city had seen felled trees on private property and power lines. A downed tree also fell on a portion of Fayetteville Road and briefly blocked traffic.
Crews were out Monday morning to remove two trees from power lines on the north side of Lumberton, which left about 1,500 customers without power, according to Greg Prevatte, deputy director of the Lumberton Electric Utilities department. The power was cut at around 6:45 am and took about an hour and 15 minutes to recover.
Other customers have suffered power outages because of limbs, he said on Monday.
Rainfall in Lumberton
The Lumberton area received about 1.74 inches of rain on Sunday and Monday, according to Steven Pfaff, the National Weather Service warning coordinator meteorologist. Precipitation in Lumberton totaled 3.92 inches over the past 30 days, about 0.73 inches above normal.
Although the rainfall has helped, the long-term situation remains bleak, he said.
For example, the Lumberton area had received around 5.94 inches in the past 90 days, which was 2.37 inches below normal or 75% of normal, he said.
“The outlook for precipitation through the end of the week does not look so favorable, or would help the situation considerably in the long term (which has led us to the current drought). There may be a better chance of rain. during the first part of next week, but nothing will change appreciably until we get into wetter weather, âsaid Pfaff.
The weather was the result of a low pressure system that formed in Georgia over the weekend on Sunday and moved “northeast” on Monday across North Carolina, according to the NWS.
âA cold front extending south of the low passed through the eastern parts of the Carolinas in the early morning of January 3, bringing a line of severe thunderstorms with measured wind gusts of up to 60 mph. Reports of storm damage have been received from several locations from the Pee Dee area to the coast, âaccording to NWS.
âAfter the thunderstorms moved offshore, gusts of wind between 35 and 50 mph continued for much of the day as cooler air poured in. This same storm system was also responsible for heavy snowfall in parts of the mountains of North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland where a foot of snow has fallen in places, âaccording to the NWS.
Impacts across the state
The North Carolina Department of Transportation had crews salting the roads, removing snow in mountainous areas and removing downed trees, according to an NCDOT press release on Monday.
âAs of 1:00 pm, 65 secondary roads and national highways were closed due to weather conditions, primarily in central North Carolina and the Charlotte area. Areas of the Triad, Triangle and Salisbury reported several downed trees blocking some roads on Monday. Several secondary roads with low bridges have been temporarily closed in Anson and Stanly counties, âaccording to the press release.
Flooding also affected movements in the northern Outer Banks, Ocracoke and Carteret County. Authorities have suspended all coastal ferry operations due to high winds.
The State Division of Motor Vehicles reported on Monday that driver’s license offices in Bryson City, Kernersville, Lillington, Mocksville, Mooresville, Lincolnton and the Asheville express office were closed due to weather conditions or outages. current. In addition, the license plate agencies in Albemarle, Burlington and one of the offices in Asheville have been closed due to the weather, âaccording to the NCDOT.