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City, county ‘faring well’ in winter storm

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Freezing precipitation resulted in some fallen tree limbs on houses, vehicles and power lines throughout the city on Sunday, but there was minimal damage reported, according to officials monitoring the winter storm.

Fayetteville saw freezing rain and ice early on before rain started in the afternoon.

The forecast calls for a chance of rain between 10 p.m. Sunday and 2 a.m. Monday, the National Weather Service in Raleigh said on its website. The chance for precipitation is 40% with a low temperature of around 33 degrees and Southwest winds of 10 to 17 mph. 

“We’re not faring too bad,” T.J. McLamb, fire marshal with the Fayetteville Fire Department, said just after 1 p.m. Sunday. “We’ve had multiple tree limbs fall on power lines, cars and houses. Some in the western parts of the city, some downtown and some in the Cedar Creek area.” 

No residents were displaced, McLamb said.  

We have fared well compared to west of the area,” Gene Booth, director of Cumberland County Emergency Services, said late Sunday afternoon. “We have had a few trees down and wires down. Fortunately,  as I just returned home from checking roads, most of the ice in the trees has melted.  I caution any travel tonight and in the morning as some of the water standing in the road may freeze and cause black ice.” 

Power outages

Crews with the Fayetteville Public Works Commission worked throughout the day Sunday to restore power in areas where weather conditions caused downed trees and power lines, said Carolyn Justice-Hinson, a spokeswoman for the utility.

She said the largest outage impacted 1,100 customers in the Haymount area. Power was restored within an hour after crews removed a tree on a high voltage power line, she said in an email.

The next largest outage impacted 180 customers in the Cedar Creek Road area for two hours, she said.

As of 4 p.m., PWC had at least five small scattered outages impacting approximately 30 customers, she said. Those areas include College Lakes, Bunce Road and VanStory, she said. 

She said crews would continue to work to restore services into the evening as long as conditions are safe.

Highway Patrol monitoring roads

The N.C. Highway Patrol monitored roads throughout the day.   

A downed power line at the 30-mile marker of Interstate 95 in Robeson County forced a portion of the highway to temporarily close,  said Col. Freddy Johnson, commander of the N.C. Highway Patrol.

He said repairs were made by 2:41 p.m. and the road was open.  

Johnson said motorists should be mindful and cautious of driving on the roadways.  

“I would say to stay off the roads unless it’s a critical reason,” Johnson said. “The roads are treacherous and will potentially refreeze tonight. If you must go out onto the roadways, please make sure you increase your following distances, monitor your speed and be alert to down trees and power lines in the roadway.’’

Transportation crews out in force

Just beyond the county line, U.S. 401 was closed by the fire department in Harnett County because of a low-hanging power line, according to Andrew Barksdale, a spokesman with the N.C. Department of Transportation. 

“We received no reports of fallen trees causing any roads to close temporarily in Cumberland County,” Barksdale said just before 3 p.m. Sunday. 

More than 2,000 Transportation Department crews and contractors with more than 1,800 trucks and other motorized equipment worked to clear  roads across the state, the department said in a news release. Crews targeted interstates and major highways first and then transitioned to primary and secondary roads. 

“Travel conditions are expected to be treacherous for much of the state through Monday,” Beau Memory, the Transportation Department’s chief operating officer, said in the release. “Please stay home and don’t take the chance of driving, especially on icy or flooded roads.”

Bill Kirby Jr. can be reached at billkirby49@gmail.com or 910-624-1961. 

Fayetteville, winter storm, freezing rain, ice, power outages, Public Works Commission, dangerous roads

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