Region faces rain, sleet and snowfall

Published 5:30 pm Thursday, January 21, 2016

Beaufort County and its neighboring counties to the north, south and west are under a winter weather advisory until 11 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service office in Newport.

Counties farther inland are under a winter storm warning until 6 p.m. Saturday. As for Beaufort County and the region, there’s a 100-percent chance of precipitation that includes a wintry mix (freezing rain, sleet and snow) and/or heavy rain Friday. The forecast for Saturday calls for a 50-percent chance of rain/snow, with a 50-percent chance of snow showers Saturday night. Skies are expected to be mostly clear Sunday. Friday night’s low is expected to be in the high 30s, with the low for Saturday predicted to be about 30, just below freezing.

Light sleet and freezing rain is expected early Friday morning and early afternoon, according to NWS advisories. The winter weather advisory means that periods of sleet, freezing rain and snow will cause travel difficulties such as slippery roads and limited visibility, especially in areas west of U.S. Highway 17.

No matter what the weather does Friday, most Beaufort County Schools students won’t be in classes because Friday is a workday for teachers. Students in the Beaufort County Early College High School will be in classes Friday, but the school will delay opening for two hours, said Sarah Hodges, public information officer for the school system.

“We’ll just play it by ear,” she said Thursday regarding any drastic changes in the expected weather Friday.

North Carolina Department of Transportation crews based in Beaufort County spent Thursday preparing for the wintry mix.

“We’ve actually mounted all the equipment — all the plows, all the spreaders on our trucks. We’ve actually pretreated the bridges in the county,” said Robby Taylor, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s maintenance engineer for Beaufort County, on Thursday. NCDOT workers are on standby mode should they be needed to work beyond normal working hours, he said.

Thursday, Beaufort County Manager Brian Alligood said county offices and departments would follow their normal schedules Friday. He said those offices and departments are hoping for the best, but are prepared for the worst in regard to weather.

City of Washington offices will operate on their normal schedules, City Manager Bobby Roberson said. The city’s public-works and electricity crews are prepared for any issues arising from the inclement weather, he said.

Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency across the state in advance of the winter storm. On Thursday, NWS forecasters issued either winter weather advisories or winter storm warnings for 56 of the state’s 100 counties, with most of those counties in the northern part of the state.



About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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