A taste of winter

Madison Oliver, one of the staff at Sadie’s Coffee Corner in downtown Henderson, tried to catch a few flakes when the snow started coming down on Monday morning. Forecasters were expecting less than an inch of accumulation as temperatures dropped on the trailing end of a storm that brought wind and heavy rain to the region earlier in the day. A taste of winter

HENDERSON — Rain, wind, snow, sunshine — Monday’s wild weather offered a bit of everything, but Vance County and its neighbors appeared to get through it without major problems.

The worst damage from the early morning portion of the storm came when a tree fell on a house off Gun Club Road near Henderson. But aside from that, as of mid-morning there had “not been a whole lot of trees down,” some isolated power outages and some isolated flash flooding, Vance County Emergency Operations Director Brian Short said

“We had some busy periods, but all in all, so far not too bad,” Short said, adding that with temperatures dropping, he suspected the storm might bring some frozen precipitation to the area.

“If it comes down hard enough and fast enough, it can cause some problems,” he said.

At midday, the weather system in fact triggered a snowfall in the Henderson area that for a time resembled a cold-state nor’easter for the heavy blowing snow and reduced visibility that came with it. Road conditions in Henderson proper deteriorated quickly, contributing to a spate of fender-benders around town.

Short said the wrecks coincided with the storm’s peak as the pavement got slippery, but as far as he knew later in the afternoon there were no serious injuries.

More scattered power outages came with the snow. Duke Energy’s reporting as of about 2:20 p.m indicated that the largest pockets were in Oxford, and northeast of Williamsboro in Vance County in the neighborhoods next to Kerr Lake.

Two of the region’s three public school systems, in Vance and Warren counties, opened on Monday but called off classes as the weather continued to pose problems. Warren County School officials sent their students home at noon, and the Vance County schools followed suit at 1 p.m. for elementary school students and 1:15 p.m. for the others.

The Granville County Public Schools weren’t in session, save for Early College students who were working remotely. Tuesday was their scheduled first day of in-person classes for 2022, and the district’s other students were due back in class on Wednesday.

Vance school officials said they will make Tuesday a remote-learning day for students and teachers, and an optional workday for all other staff with school buildings opening at 10 a.m.

The snowfall didn’t stick on much south of Oxford, and in Henderson it stopped by around 2:30 p.m. The sun came out, and temperatures rose enough to begin melting what had fallen.

But with overnight temperatures expected to drop to the low 20s, the concern going into Tuesday is that the damp roads will freeze.

“There is a strong likelihood of black ice in the morning,” Short said, adding that he’ll be “out early riding the roads” to gauge conditions and try “to make some decisions.”

Contact Ray Gronberg at rgronberg@hendersondispatch.com or by phone at 252-436-2850.

Contact Ray Gronberg at rgronberg@hendersondispatch.com or by phone at 252-436-2850.

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