LUMBERTON — Now hundreds of miles off the coast of New England, Tropical Storm Hermine left little lingering damage in its wake when it passed through Robeson County on Friday, although there was plent of disruption when it was here.
The storm brought a deluge of rain, some strong gusts of wind and knocked out power for more than 4,000 customers in Robeson County.
“Things went well,” said Stephanie Chavis, director of Robeson County Emergency Services. “The only thing we had was water ponding on roads and tree limbs falling on lines. We didn’t have any reports of any property damage or fatalities.”
Chavis said officials monitored the storm from the county Emergency Operations Center, but were able to call it a night at 10 p.m. Friday.
Lumberton’s airport received 3.48 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service, with the Lumber River west of Pembroke receiving about 6 inches. William O. Huske Dam outside of St. Pauls got about 5.8 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
Although the heavy rainfall did cause some water to pool on Robeson County streets, the Lumber River did not flood.
Power has been restored to everyone who was left in the dark by Hermine. By Saturday morning, about 3,200 customers were without power throughout the county, almost all Duke Energy customers. Many residents had to do without power until Saturday evening.
Winds brought down some trees and power lines along with them. Gusts as strong as 46 mph were recorded Friday night in Lumberton.
According to the National Weather Service, Robeson County emergency management reported a tree down on a house and downed power lines on Kenan Avenue in Lumberton at about 9:45 p.m. Friday. A utility company reported a tree down on power lines at the intersection of Arnette Street and Parkview Drive in Lumberton at 6 p.m. Friday.
The wet weather did cause several vehicle accidents, but none resulting in serious injuries. Most wrecks involved motorists hydroplaning, Chavis said.
Crops in Robeson County apparently came out of the storm undamaged, according to Mac Malloy, Agriculture Extension agent for field crops in Robeson County.
“Corn and tobacco have probably been the most susceptible to any kind of crop damage at this point,” Malloy said. “For what I’ve seen in my ride around the county, it looks like most of the corn and tobacco did OK.”
So far, Malloy hasn’t received reports from farmers about damage to crops or outbuildings. Farmers can report damage to Malloy by calling 910-671-3276.
“If it didn’t lay down, blown over by the wind, it should be OK. Our biggest concern was the wind, not the rain. The rain was actually a big blessing for the soybean crop,” Malloy said. “They were really getting kind of drought stressed so it’s a been a huge benefit to the soybeans.”
The peanut crop, which is mostly in the eastern part of Robeson County, is still about two weeks away from harvest and it is likely undamaged by the wind and rain, he said.
A disaster relief hotline has also been set up by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 866-645-9403.
Parts of the county still soggy from Hermine’s visit should get a chance to dry out this week. Forecasts are calling for sunny skies and highs in the low 90s throughout the week.
Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974 or on Twitter @Sarah_Willets. Staff writer Terri Ferguson Smith contributed to this report.