LUMBERTON — Robeson Country residents were treated to a fireworks show Thursday night that brought much needed rain and caused few significant problems.
But one of the problems was for Lumbee River Electrical Membership Corporation’s office in Fairmont. According to Walter White, a spokesman for the utility, it appeared that the office was hit with lightning and caught on fire. The employees were working at other offices this morning. There was no information on how much damage was done to the building.
White said that there were 52 outages among LREM customers, but all of them were back on line this morning.
According to the Nation Weather Service, the thunderstorms,which began rolling through the county at about 7 p.m., dropped 1.77 inches of rain on the county. Some areas received more, and others less — but all of it was welcome.
“I know as far as farming goes, the rain came at a pretty crucial time,” said Mack Johnson, a horticulture agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s Robeson County Center. “The corn is starting to develop and soybeans are being planted, so it is good for that. It may have slowed down and hindered some wheat harvest. Anytime we get rain it is beneficial; the county was getting dry.”
Steve Pfaff, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, said more rain is likely.
“There was a healthy dose of rain which we can use, as a lot of the rivers are low,” he said. “We anticipate a chance of storms each day, but we can use the rain and the garden-variety thunderstorms.”
Across Robeson County, 450 Duke Energy customers experienced power outages during the storms while Red Springs reported one outage, at the First Baptist Church on East Fourth Avenue. Power had been restored by this morning to all the customers.
No outages were reported by the city of Lumberton.
Thunderstorms remain in the forecast for the next week. Temperatures in Robeson County, which have bumped up against the 100-degree mark the last three days, will drop to a high of 90 on Saturday and a high of 88 on Sunday.