Road conditions were deteriorating as heavy sleet, freezing rain and snow began to fall in the Havelock area Tuesday.
A heavy sleet, sometimes mixing with snow, is expected to continue overnight into Wednesday morning in the Havelock area
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, an inch of sleet was already on the ground, and there was no indication that it would subside anytime soon.
The National Weather Service in Newport has issued a winter storm warning for the area, as a low pressure off the coast is expected to bring a combination of freezing rain, sleet and snow through Wednesday morning.
Forecasts early Monday predicted as much as 10 inches of snow for the Havelock area, but as the storm continued to form and take shape, those predictions have decreased, with the weather service saying warmer air in higher levels of the atmosphere was causing more sleet than snow to fall. The weather service now expects the storm to produce mostly sleet with some snow mixing in, with total sleet and snow accumulations at 2 to 4 inches before the storm exits Wednesday morning.
Craven County Schools were closed on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Cherry Point closed at noon Tuesday. Only personnel designated by their supervisors will be required to work Wednesday. Non-designated personnel are expected to return to work by noon on Thursday. Updates from Cherry Point are available by calling 466-3093.
Havelock Police Chief G. Wayne Cyrus said Tuesday afternoon that no serious crashes have been reported in the city.
“We’ve seen the DOT trucks make several passes on Highway 70 to keep the roads from freezing,” he said. “If operators exercise caution, it just adds to the equation in keeping the roads safe.”
However, there were reports of cars sliding off roadways throughout Craven County.
The sleet and freezing rain had many drivers pounding away at car windows to clear ice.
“It’s a nuisance,” Stephen French said as he cleared his truck of ice.
The wintry mixture was producing hazardous driving in the area. Though Department of Transportation crews did treat U.S. 70, the heavy sleet had covered all area roads. Road or bridge closure information is available online at www.ncdot.gov/traffictravel/ or by dialing 511 from any phone and following the prompts.
Whatever snow or ice falls will likely stick around with high temperatures on Wednesday expected in the upper 20s and a low temperature of 12 degrees predicted for Wednesday night. However, a warming trend follows, as highs Friday will reach near 50 degrees, followed by near 60-degree temperatures Saturday and Sunday.
Other cancellations or postponements include:
The Havelock Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee has postponed its Family of the Quarter event until 6 p.m. Feb. 4.
The chamber’s business before hours event scheduled for Tuesday at Gurganus Elementary School has been rescheduled for Feb. 25.
Annunciation Catholic School has canceled its Ecumenical Leadership Prayer Luncheon for Tuesday and classes have been canceled for Tuesday. Its open house has been rescheduled to Feb. 6 from 4 to 6 p.m.
Cherry Point Baptist Church has canceled its Wednesday night service.
The weather may also cause delays in delivery of the Havelock News and Windsock.