‘A fun snow’: County emerges unscathed from winter storm
Published 5:52 pm Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Some forecasters were right: Beaufort County got between 4 and 8 inches of snow between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Narrowing the amount of snowfall beyond that range might be a little difficult, however. It just depends on location.
“I think a lot of it depended on how open (the area) is, with the way the wind was blowing it. Four to six inches seems to be the phrase I’ve heard over and over,” said Lisa Respess, with Beaufort County Emergency Management.
Respess said that at the Emergency Management Office on Highland Drive in Washington, staff measured 5 1/2 inches of snow.
Mayor Tom Richter said the same of Washington Park.
According to Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal, five or six inches of snow fell in Belhaven.
“I’m going to guess we got around four inches,” said Aurora Mayor Clif Williams, who added that the winter storm had been largely uneventful. “We’ve not had a lot of traffic. Everybody’s just trying to be smart about it and staying home.”
Indeed, most of Beaufort County stayed home Wednesday, as businesses and government shut down for the day and residents opted not to take their chances on icy roads.
“In Belhaven, we’re fortunate that most people have decided to stay home today and be safe,” O’Neal said.
At 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sergeant Beau Daniel said North Carolina State Highway Patrol in Beaufort County had not received a single call throughout the day, which he attributed to the lack of traffic on the roads — roads that would get treacherous overnight as temperatures dropped into the low teens and whatever moisture on the roads turned to black ice.
Throughout the county, officials said the storm was surprisingly without incident.
“I think we were just really, really lucky. We got the ice in the beginning, but it didn’t stick to the power lines. It didn’t cause any problems,” Respess said.
Respess said she monitored radio traffic at the Emergency Management office from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning. As ice and snow coated the landscape, she said there were no more than five EMS calls and no fire calls during those hours — which is low on the average day.
“I was thinking this has actually been a fun snow — because there haven’t been any power outages. People had enough time to prepare, they’re warm in their houses, kids are out playing in the snow,” Respess said. “We’ve had some snows that have not been fun snows.”
There was plenty of fun to be had Wednesday as local children, and adults, could be seen sledding down the rolling hills of Oakdale Cemetery and the steeper slope of the U.S. Highway 17 overpass in Washington. Many others got a little help from ATVs and four-wheel drives in neighborhoods around the county. To see our gallery of snow images, click HERE.