Wintry Mix Tapering Off; Officials Warn of Extremely Hazardous Roadways, Potential Power Outages

Jan 29, 2014

As the Cape Fear region wakes up Wednesday morning, residents will see a light blanket of snow covering a serious sheet of ice.  There are very few power outages to report, but the area is not out of the woods yet.  

The wintry mix tapered off in the morning, but New Hanover County Spokesperson Charles Smith says there won’t be a chance for the ice and snow accumulation to melt until sometime on Thursday.

"The longer the weight of this ice sits on tree limbs and power lines is the concern for bringing those lines down and causing significant, widespread power outages.  That remains a concern and will continue to be until we get melting of some the ice on these limbs and lines."

Smith is urging residents who experience a power outage to report it to Duke Energy Progress by calling or 800-419-6356.   There is also an online report form.   Please do not call 911 for power outages. 

More good news:  there is a surprisingly small number of accidents to report.  Smith says it appears that most people heeded the warnings and stayed off the roads last night.  But for those considering a trip into work today, Smith has some strong advice. 

"Stay put.  We are encouraging everyone to stay off the roadways.   As far as travel, we don’t expect any conditions to improve throughout today and of course it’s going to drop down way below freezing Wednesday night and that freeze will continue into Thursday before we get into the mid-30s to see some melting Thursday."

The National Weather Service is predicting high temperatures today in the upper 20s.  Tonight, we'll see the temperatures drop back into the teens.  And by Thursday, temperatures won't climb above freezing until the afternoon.