Bluster, not blustery

Published 12:31 am Friday, February 11, 2011

Contributing Editor

The winter storm that passed through eastern North Carolina on Thursday left Beaufort County and nearby environs relatively unscathed.
“Really well,” said John Pack, Beaufort County’s emergency-management coordinator, when asked how the county fared with the latest winter storm.
“There have been some minor things where cars had slid into ditches. … That might have happened without the snow,” Pack said Thursday morning.
Those incidents didn’t require response by emergency-response personnel or law enforcement, he said.
Pack was checking on road conditions in the Terra Ceia area of the county Thursday morning.
“They were snow-covered when I left there about an hour and a half ago,” Pack said about 10:45 a.m.
Throughout the county, main roads were clear, but slick spots were reported on some secondary roads, according to road-condition reports on the Internet.
“I’d say that was definitively true,” Pack replied when asked if the eastern part of the county received more snow than the western part.
On average, Pack said, the eastern part of the county received about 3 inches of snow, perhaps more in some areas.
As of 10 a.m. Thursday, Belhaven had received 3.5 inches of snow, Bath had received 3 inches of snow and Aurora had received 2 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
Unofficial measurements made in the Washington area show that 2 inches to 2.5 inches of snow fell.
Pack had high praise for the N.C. Department of Transportation crews that pretreated area roads before the winter storm arrived.
“If they hadn’t done what they did, it would have been much worse,” Pack said.
The N.C. Highway Patrol office in Washington reported the winter storm resulted in no increase in the normal amount of minor traffic accidents it investigates on a daily basis. Troopers in that office cover Beaufort, Hyde, Washington and Tyrrell counties.
For some, Thursday’s snow provided an opportunity for recreation.
One local family took time out for sledding on a hill beside the Runyon Creek bridge at Haven’s Gardens.
Blake and Rebecca Blackmon of Washington helped their children — Kozmo, 4, and Zeke, 2 — sled down the increasingly muddy hill for around half an hour.
The foursome also built a snowman near the edge of the park, alongside the Pamlico River.
But their sledding attempts became almost fruitless as the powdery snow cover began to melt.
“We’re going to try to find a bigger hill,” the father said.
Washington Electric Utilities had no record of outages caused by the winter storm, said WEU Director Keith Hardt late Thursday morning.
Local schools were closed Thursday because of the snow.
Staff Writer Jonathan Clayborne contributed to this article.