Sunday, May 22, 2022

Winter storm 2022 updates, closings

Gov. Cooper declares a state of emergency, tri-county region prepares for sleet and possible snow

Residents of the Cape Fear region may notice the presence of salt, sand, or brine mixtures on the roads to prepare for the predicted winter storm. (Port City Daily photo/ JOHANNA FEREBEE)
Brine mixtures were put on the roads across the tri-county region to prepare for the projected winter storm. (Port City Daily/File)

Port City Daily is updating this article with more information regarding any weather changes and closures as it becomes available.

Saturday, Jan. 22, 8 a.m. update

The winter storm has moved out of southeastern North Carolina, after freezing rain, sleet and some snow consistently fell overnight. Crews will begin assessing damages this morning.

Accumulation has varied in the tri-county region with reports showing a quarter-inch of ice and a dust of snow covering roads, cars and surfaces. Yet, an hour west in Elizabethtown, up to 3 inches of snow topped the icy ground.

Public officials discourage motorists on the roads as conditions remain hazardous among freezing temperatures — 27 degrees as of 7:30 a.m, with a wind chill of 15. Numerous closures and warnings went into effect last night for area bridges and roadways:

  • Closing of MLK Parkway from Kerr Avenue to downtown
  • Snow’s Cut Bridge into Carolina Beach
  • I-140 Wilmington/Shallotte exit was closed, with the Dan Cameron Bridge considered impassable.

The Isabel Holmes Bridge downtown and Wrightsville Beach’s Hiede Trask, Causeway, and Salisbury bridges are visibly iced though remain open.

As roads are assessed, the North Carolina Department of Transportation will update its database to keep travelers informed. “Unless you’re essential or have an emergency, there is no reason to be driving today,” NCDOT noted on its social media account.

While drier conditions are in store for the rest of the weekend, the National Weather Service also reminded roadways may remain dangerous through Monday morning. Temperatures will not rise above the 40s through the weekend, most of the time staying in the sub-freezing range, allowing for moisture to refreeze, making black ice and icy bridges and overpasses likely.

Duke Energy crews are working to restore power to over 250 people in the greater Wilmington region, the majority facing outages in Porters Neck (north in Morehead City, around 6,000 are without power).

Overnight the Wilmington International Airport canceled flights through Saturday morning but show travel will resume mid-morning.

Scroll below to read updates on closures, as more will be added to the list for Saturday.

Friday, Jan. 21, 3 p.m. update

A winter storm is moving through southeastern North Carolina. According to New Hanover County’s emergency management director, Steven Still, Wilmington and surrounding areas were spared the brunt of early rains predicted for Thursday evening into Friday.

The bulk of showers remained to the east of the region, offshore, Still explained at a Friday press briefing: “I think we got a pass this morning with a delayed onset.”

He forewarned the worse has yet to come.

Temperatures will continue dropping through the early evening overnight. Still advised people not to let their guard down while driving home from work and to refrain from travel.

With the decline in temperature will come freezing rain from a “big mass of moisture coming out of the Gulf,” Still said. Any puddles on the road or wet surfaces will freeze.

“The more moisture we get on top of that is going to turn to ice when it hits the road, so we’re urging our public to stay off the road,” Still said.

Emergency vehicles are prepared to go out as needed and the Emergency Operations Center is activated.

Forecasted gusts combined with freezing rain are expected to pose a threat to any vegetation, branches, limbs or power lines.

“It’s going to add weight to whatever it resides on, and if you couple that with wind, you have a compounding problem,” Still said.

At daybreak Saturday, the county will assess damages. Still said people should plan on staying put. Noon to 2 p.m. is the only window of time temperatures won’t reach freezing. Thereafter, refreezing of moisture is likely as nightfall will track in the teens to the 20s on Saturday and lower- to mid-20s and 30s through Monday night.

According to the N.C. Department of Transportation Friday update, over 900 transportation workers are on call for the weekend. They have continued spreading more brine on the roads from the Piedmont to the Triad — areas that could receive 1 to 5 inches of snow — and down to the coast.

As of 4 p.m. Friday, all seven ferry routes are temporarily suspended due to the winds and icy conditions that could affect roads leading to the terminals. “Ferry routes will resume when it is safe to do so,” NCDOT noted in a news release.

Duke Power assured in a midday update that 2,500 response workers — including power line technicians, damage assessors and vegetation workers — are staged to restore power as needed across the state. Workers from Florida, Indiana and Ohio will assist Carolinas-based employees.

The power company reminds customers it could take 24 hours or more to evaluate areas after a storm passes and properly determine the crews, equipment and supplies needed to make essential repairs. Duke Energy customers who experience power outages can call 1-800-419-6356, report and view current outages at duke-energy.com/outages, or text OUT to 57801.

North Carolina keeps an update on all open emergency shelters here. As of 4:20 p.m., none are listed in the tri-county region.

“New Hanover County Emergency Management has worked with community partners to help provide supplies to warming shelters in the county and continues to support our homeless agencies in their efforts as well,” according to a New Hanover County spokesperson. “Emergency Management will also work with our public safety partners to provide assistance for any resident in need of assistance or a warm shelter, but the county does not plan to stand up community shelters at this time.”

More closures have been added to the list as well — scroll down for updates.

Friday, Jan. 21, 8 a.m. update

As of 8 a.m. Friday morning, roads are wet, though there has been no ice accumulation. Temperatures fell from the 40s to 33 degrees overnight.

The National Weather Service is reporting conditions will worsen throughout the day, as rain will change into freezing rain before 3 p.m. Winds will be 11 to 13 mph with gusts up to 21 mph. New precipitation amounts will equal between a tenth- and quarter-inch, officials are saying.

By nightfall, a wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet and possibly snow is expected as temperatures drop into the 20s. New sleet accumulation could then equal a half inch.

Saturday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high of 37 and low in the 20s, followed by a sunny Sunday with a high of 45.

Thursday, Jan. 20 update

According to the National Weather Service, Wilmington and surrounding areas are under an ice storm warning, starting at midnight, Friday, Jan. 21, and lasting through noon on Saturday, Jan. 22. Temperatures are forecasted to drop from 60 degrees Thursday afternoon to the lower 30s as an Arctic cold front moves in Thursday evening.

Freezing rain is expected to be widespread across the tri-county region Friday into Saturday, with temperatures falling to the 20s Friday evening. A mix of snow could fall Friday evening as well. Ice accumulations are projected to be a quarter-to-a-half inch, increasing chances for power outages and felled trees and limbs.

Dave Mayes, director of public services for the City of Wilmington, said at a Thursday media briefing that 400 miles of city roads are being brined — a mixture of salt and water — to help elevate temperatures in an attempt to prevent water from freezing on asphalt. The city is sending out two trucks Thursday.

The N.C. Department of Transportation has begun preparing state-owned roads locally in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.

Travel is strongly discouraged on Friday and Saturday. “Don’t go out unless you have to,” Mayes forewarned.

He said the city will have plows and icing equipment ready to go as needed, fully stocked with sand and salt. Early Friday morning three trucks will head out to spread more sand and salt to help melt ice before it sticks to the roads.

“It’s just a means to keep the hazard down to a minimum,” Mayes said.

Gov. Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency ahead of the winter storm, forecasted for the mid and eastern parts of the state this weekend. Much of the western, Piedmont and Triad regions received snow and ice last weekend.

“This state of emergency will waive some transportation regulations to allow for quicker storm preparation and response and power restoration,” Cooper stated in a release. “North Carolinians should prepare today for this storm and make sure they have any medications, food and emergency equipment they may need over the next few days.”

The governor also noted in a press conference Thursday that significant power outages are expected. The state has 700 employees and contract crews and 300 trucks and graders working currently, prepared to address issues as needed throughout the weekend.

From the N.C. Emergency Management Team to prepare for possible power outages:

  • Get the groceries and essentials you need before Thursday evening. Travel will become hazardous in many parts of eastern North Carolina after that.
  • Keep cell phones, mobile devices and spare batteries charged in case your power goes out
  • Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.
  • Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
  • Properly vent kerosene heaters and ensure generators are operated outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  • Never burn charcoal indoors or use a gas grill indoors.
  • Use a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio or a weather alert app on your phone to receive emergency weather alerts.
  • Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first-aid kit and road map.
  • Gather emergency supplies for your pet, including leash and feeding supplies, enough food and for several days and pet travel carrier.
  • Do not leave pets outside for long periods of time during freezing weather.

Closings listed by county

New Hanover County

ABC Stores
The New Hanover County ABC Board announced its county stores will close Thursday, Jan. 20, at 8 p.m. and remain closed all day Friday, Jan. 21, and Saturday, Jan. 22. All LBD Outlets will close as well. Updates posted to county ABC website.

Art in Bloom Gallery
The gallery will close Friday, Jan. 21.

Battleship NORTH CAROLINA
The ship will close Friday, Jan. 21, and Saturday, Jan. 22, to visitors.

Cameron Art Museum and CAM Cafe
Closed Friday, Jan. 21. The museum and café will reassess opening Saturday and will inform the public via its website: CameronArtMuseum.org

Cape Fear Academy
The school will be closed Friday, Jan. 21.

Cape Fear Community College
CFCC will close Friday, Jan. 21, and Saturday, Jan. 22. The closure includes all college events, activities, and Wilson Center performances. It will reopen Monday, Jan. 24. Updates: cfcc.edu.

CFPUA
Offices and customer service centers at 235 Government Center Dr. and 305 Chestnut St. will close Friday, Jan. 21, due to the forecast winter storm in our area. Customers can still access accounts at CFPUA.org/Online or by calling 910-332-6550. Water and sewer emergencies can be reported by calling 910-332-6565.

Carolina Eye Associates
Closed Friday, Jan. 21, due to weather.

Ceviches
Closed Friday, Jan. 21.

City of Wilmington
City offices will be closed Friday, Jan. 21. Normal operations will resume on Monday, Jan. 24. Trash and recycling will be collected on Friday as long as conditions allow. City customers should have their cans out before 5:30 a.m.

Classical Charter School of Wilmington
The school will be closed Friday, Jan. 21.

Coastal Preparatory Academy
The school will be closed Friday, Jan. 21

GLOW Academy
The school will be closed Friday, Jan. 21.

The Green House
Closed Friday, Jan. 21.

ILM
ILM is showing all arrivals scheduled for Friday, Jan. 21, between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. have been canceled. Departures have also been canceled through 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

Travel is slated to begin again by 10:30 a.m.

All flight statuses can be checked by contacting:

Kalethy Living Smoothies and Açaí
Closed Friday, Jan. 21.

MLK Parkway
The Wilmington Police Department sent a notice Friday at 7:30 p.m. that Martin Luther King Parkway is closed between Kerr Avenue and downtown Wilmington due to icy roads. Travelers who must be on the road should plan ahead to take alternate routes and avoid the area.

Mayfaire Town Center
Closed Friday, Jan. 2. The administration of the shopping plaza said consumers should call retailers and restaurants to confirm hours of operation before traveling to the center.

Miller-Motte College
Closed Friday, Jan. 2.

New Hanover County Facilities
County offices, vaccination clinics, landfill (household hazardous waste facility and recycling center), parks, libraries and attractions (Cape Fear Museum, Arboretum and Airlie Gardens), will be closed both Jan. 21 and 22. While the museum and libraries will remain closed Sunday, county parks, Airlie, and the Arboretum will reopen at noon Sunday, weather permitting. Regular operational hours will resume Monday for all facilities.

New Hanover County Schools
All classes will move to remote learning Friday. Afterschool activities and athletics are canceled. Assignments and materials will be provided to students on a class-by-class basis by the end of school Thursday.

New Hanover Courthouse
New Hanover courts and courthouses will be closed Friday, Jan. 21. All cases will be continued and emergency filings can be done at the magistrate’s office at the New Hanover County Jail on Blue Clay Road. All non-emergency filings will resume Monday.

N.C. Education Lottery’s Wilmington Office
Closed Friday, Jan. 21.

Rx Restaurant
Closed Friday, Jan. 21.

St. Mark Catholic School
The school will be closed Friday, Jan. 21.

Smoke on the Water
Closed Friday, Jan. 21.

The Southerly
The Carolina Beach restaurant will be closed Saturday, Jan. 22, as Snow’s Cut Bridge is closed.

Town of Carolina Beach
All town offices, operations, and facilities will close Friday, Jan. 21. GFL has canceled all scheduled dumpster pickups in Carolina Beach on Friday, Jan. 21. Collections will resume on normal operating schedule next week.

Town of Wrightsville Beach
Town administrative offices will close Friday, Jan. 21 and Saturday, Jan. 22. There will be no trash collection services.

True Blue Butcher and Table
To close early Friday night; reservations will stop at 8 p.m.

Two Guys Grille Porters Neck
Closed Saturday, Jan. 22, due to icy road conditions.

UNCW
Classes canceled Friday, Jan. 21. Students should consult with instructors on how it will affect their courses. Employees will suspend operations and those involved in research are instructed to secure areas due to potential power outages. The Student Health Center closes today at 5 p.m. and reopens Monday; there will be no Covid testing on campus Friday. Campus dining will continue with meal service and the student rec center will close Friday and reopen Saturday pending favorable weather conditions. Student shuttles and WAVE will cease operations Friday as well.

WAVE Transit
All WAVE Transit services will conclude at 5 p.m., Jan. 21. Fixed route bus and ADA Paratransit services are anticipated to resume and transfer stations will open Saturday, Jan 22.

Wilmington Preparatory Academy
The school will be closed Friday, Jan. 21

YoSake
Closed Friday, Jan. 21.

Brunswick County

Brunswick Community College campuses
All classes and evening activities are canceled Friday and Saturday. The Fitness and Aquatics Center and Oddell Williamson Auditorium will also close. Updates: brunswickcc.edu.

Brunswick County Government Facilities
Offices, parks, and libraries are closed to the public Friday, Jan. 21, and Saturday, Jan. 22. The county courthouse and all sessions are closed Friday. All appointments for county services during — including at the Brunswick County Health Services clinic — will be rescheduled for a later date. The county will continue to operate under its inclement weather policy, with essential employees working as directed.

Brunswick County Schools
All classes are canceled Friday. It is a non-required remote workday for staff.

Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation
Offices will be closed to members on Friday, Jan. 21, and will re-open Monday, Jan. 24 if conditions allow.

Classical Charter School of Leland
The school will be closed Friday, Jan. 21.

Classical Charter School of Southport
The school will be closed Friday, Jan. 21.

Leland Christian Academy
The school will be closed Friday, Jan. 21.

Leland Cultural Arts Center
Closed Friday, Jan. 21, and Saturday, Jan. 22, due to weather — reopening Monday.

Mr. Bagel Meister in Leland
Closed Friday, Jan. 21, due to weather.

N.C. Maritime Museum
The Southport museum will be closed Friday, Jan. 21, and Saturday, Jan. 22.

Sandalwood Shoppes
Closed Friday, Jan. 21, due to weather.

Town of Leland Facilities
Closed Friday, Jan. 21, due to weather — reopening Monday.

Village of Bald Head Island
The Village offices and post office will be closed Friday, Jan. 21. Contractor ferry and barge service have been canceled for Jan. 21. Passenger ferry operations are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. tomorrow, depending on weather and hazardous road conditions. Tram operations will be suspended Friday and Saturday on the island. Normal operations will resume on Monday. The Village Public Safety Department may close the timber bridge if it becomes icy.

Pender County

Holly Shelter Shooting Range
To remain closed Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 22-23, due to the wintry mix. Updates: rcountync.gov.

Moores Creek National Battlefield
The park and all trails will be closed Friday, Jan. 21. Operations for Saturday, Jan. 22, will be determined, pending a thorough investigation of the safety of the park. Updates: www.nps.gov/mocr

Pender County Courthouse
Pender County courts and courthouses will be closed Friday, Jan. 21. All cases will be continued and emergency filings can be done at the magistrates office at the New Hanover County Jail on Blue Clay Road. All non-emergency filings will resume Monday.

Pender County Libraries
To remain closed Saturday, Jan. 22, due to the winter storm. Updates: rcountync.gov.

Pender County Schools
Pender County Schools is transitioning to a remote learning day Friday.

Pender County Offices
Pender County Government Offices will close Friday, Jan. 21. Residents can stay informed during the storm by signing up for CodeRed at www.pendercountync.gov/em or call 910-259-1220.

Pender County Board of Election Offices
Offices will close Friday, Jan. 21. 

Town of Burgaw
Offices closed Friday, Jan. 21


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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