Motorists were urged to travel with caution Tuesday morning, after a storm left several roads blocked by downed trees and power lines.
Assistant county manager Susan Holder sent out warnings in the early morning hours urging those on the roads to use extreme caution when traveling. Reports indicated that more than 25 roads were affected by the storm, which spread from the Salemburg area to north of Clinton.
“We are confident that we will have a multitude of additional damage at daylight, as well as impassible roads,” Sampson County EMS Communications Manager Roberta Parker stated in a release to county officials.
The impending danger led school officials to operate on a two-hour delay for students.
According to Sampson County Schools superintendent Dr. Eric Bracey, the decision to delay school was made as a safety precaution for staff and students.
“We wanted to make sure that our bus drivers had daylight as they navigated the roads this morning,” Bracy said. “There were reports of trees and debris in the road as well as low power lines. Safety is always at the forefront of our decisions to delay school.”
Bracy was unaware if there was any damage to schools.
For Clinton City Schools officials, the same decision was made.
“We made the decision to delay school due to downed power lines and trees in the outer sections of our district,” Dr. Stuart Blount, superintendent of Clinton City Schools, said. “By delaying, it allowed for more day light to ensure safety and visibility to be able to see possible damage and road paths. We also wanted to have a better understanding of those that may be without power. Fortunately, there was not any damage to our schools.”
As of press time Tuesday afternoon, only one road was closed due to the inclement weather. Oak Grove Church Road was closed in both directions near South Eldridge Road.
Huntley School Road was closed near Corinth Church Road with a detour due to an obstruction in the road. Motorists are urged to follow the signed detour route.
Crews from local power companies worked through the night trying to restore power to the thousands of customers who were left in the dark. Even as some residents awoke Tuesday morning, they were still without power.
There were 1,625 South River Electric Membership Corporation customers without power, with the majority of those restored by lunch Tuesday. Nearly 2,000 Duke Energy customers in the Keener and High House Road areas were affected.
As of press time Tuesday afternoon, power had been restored to the majority of residents in the areas.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.