LUMBERTON — As the remnants of Winter Storm Leon melt away, Robeson County is slowly returning to business as usual, except for the public schools.
Temperatures in the upper-30s on Thursday began to soften the 3 to 5 inches snow that poured over the county on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, although some secondary roads remained icy and slick, causing pileups.
Students in the Public Schools of Robeson County got their fourth straight day off from school today. Teachers will have an optional workday today with a two-hour delay. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke resumed its normal class schedule today as did Robeson Community College.
Robeson County offices will operate a normal schedule today , opening at 8:15 a.m. Lumberton city offices will open at 8 a.m., Fairmont town offices at 10 a.m. and Pembroke town offices at 8:30 a.m. Lumbee Tribal Government offices will open at 10 a.m.
Other school districts across the state are still operating on altered schedules because of slush and ice in on the roads. Forecasters are also warning drivers, mainly in western and central North Carolina, of black ice.
Commerce began to pick back up as local businesses and restaurants returned to work as traffic began to pick up as motorists gained confidence that the roads were improving.
While Robeson County’s major roads are mostly clear of snow and ice, Leon was the culprit behind several wrecks on Thursday, but no serious injuries or fatalities were reported.
Ed Knight, an employee at The Robesonian, said about a dozen cars were involved in separate pile-ups on Tar Heel Road near N.C. 41 when he drove by at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday. State Highway Patrol reported three accidents on that road Thursday morning, two of which resulted in injuries.
Knight said some cars had slid off the road and into ditches and one was overturned, but no Emergency Services vehicles were on the scene at the time. Tar Heel Road was blocked off and traffic was being diverted towards Ivey and Pridgen roads, he said. Highway Patrol troopers and the East Howellsville Fire Department responded.
“That road probably needs to have the same priority as 41,” Knight said, referring to road-clearing efforts. Knight said many Smithfield Foods employees take that route to work.
A Durham man and his wife were injured Thursday afternoon when their pick-up truck hit the back of an 18-wheeler trying to get in line for an Interstate 95 weigh station near Exit 24, state Highway Patrol Trooper R.D. Wright said.
A lane was closed for about an hour after the accident occurred.
Temperatures in the 50s today are likely to melt the snow. Tonight will be chilly, with a low of 29. Across the state, temperatures could dip as low as 10s.
Residents can enjoy warmer temperatures this weekend, although a chance of rain may keep them inside on Super Bowl Sunday. Saturday should be foggy and in the high 50s. A moderate chance of rain and mild temperatures will continue from Saturday night to at least Monday, with highs in the low 60s and lows around 40 degrees.