10/29/12 — Storm impacts coast, but county gets winds

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Storm impacts coast, but county gets winds

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 29, 2012 1:46 PM

There have been no reports of damages or injuries caused by Hurricane Sandy's slight brush with Wayne County. It appears that even grocery stores escaped the usual onslaught the storms normally generate.

"A little bit of rain, a little bit of wind and that has been the extent of it," Joe Gurley, Wayne County Office of Emergency Services director, said this morning. "We will sit back and continue to monitor it."

Sam McNeill, manager of the Ash Street Food Lion, said traffic at the store had been steady since last Thursday, but that there had been no problem in keeping the shelves stocked.

"We had planned ahead and that helped us," he said.

Shoppers were looking for the basics, milk, bread and eggs, he said.

Carlie C's IGA manager Mike Pendergraft did not work over the weekend, but said after looking over weekend records that it appears the storm had failed "to get anybody excited here (in the county)."

Sales would have been three to four times higher than what they were had the bull's eye been on Wayne County instead of farther north, he said.

However, north-central North Carolina, including Wayne, Johnston and Sampson counties, continue under a hazardous weather advisory.

According to the National Weather Service, counties in that area are expected to see sustained west winds of 20 to 25 mph this afternoon and tonight, with gusts between 35 to 40 mph. The winds could toss around light outdoor objects, the Weather Service warns.

The brisk winds will continue into Tuesday.

There is a 60 percent chance of rain today and 40 percent tonight into Tuesday. Rainfall amounts today are expected to be less than a tenth of an inch.

Today's highs are expected to reach 56 with a low of near 41 tonight. Tuesday's high is forecast to be 52, falling to 40 overnight.

Meanwhile, people on North Carolina's Outer Banks are bracing for more flooding and damage caused by Sandy.

The Category 1 hurricane is bringing light rain and diminishing winds to the coast today, but more flooding on low-lying Hatteras and Ocracoke islands is expected with high tide.

Hyde County Emergency officials say Ocracoke was inundated by more than two feet of water in some spots. Stranded visitors and residents cannot move along long stretches of 70-mile-long Hatteras Island because the main highway is covered with sand and salt water as storm-driven waves punched through protective dunes. At least one oceanfront home in Rodanthe collapsed.

The state Transportation Department closed the bridge over Oregon Inlet because inspectors determined a loose section of railing made it unsafe for traffic.

In the western part of the state, the cold part of the storm mix could bring a foot or more of snow to the mountains.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the mountains of western North Carolina until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Snow was reported early today in Boone. It was expected to spread later today and Tuesday.

Forecasters say an inch or more of snow could fall in the area today. Up to 5 inches of snow is possible tonight and up to 8 inches of snow is possible Tuesday at higher elevations.