Winter storm blankets Wilmington in snow, ice

Meredith Hoffman, News Editor

2018 began with a cold start as New Hanover and surrounding counties woke up on Thursday to a blanket of snow left behind by winter storm Grayson. The winter storm traveled up the east coast Wednesday, hitting areas from Charleston, South Carolina, to upstate New York.

UNC Wilmington students and faculty were notified via email on Tuesday, Jan. 2 that all operations on campus would be suspended beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday in preparation for the inclement weather.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning for all of southeastern N.C. and northeastern S.C. beginning at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, which continued until 6 a.m. the following day.

In addition, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency in the eastern part of the state.

UNCW’s decision to close followed the decision by New Hanover and Pender county schools to cancel all classes for Jan. 3-5.

The roads in the Wilmington area became dangerous Wednesday when sleet and hail began at roughly 6 p.m. Citizens were urged to stay inside by the Wilmington Police Department and to avoid driving if possible due to hazardous road conditions.

Shelters in Wilmington such as The Good Shepard Center opened their doors to grant shelter to the homeless in the freezing conditions, per the Wilmington StarNews.

Areas in Wilmington saw anywhere from one to three inches of snow from Grayson, with areas further up the coast seeing up to six inches of snow. The temperature in Wilmington on Thursday is expected to surpass the freezing mark, which will allow for melting to occur.

While New Hanover and Pender County schools have announced that they will remain closed Friday due to the potential of melting snow refreezing overnight.

UNCW will not make an announcement about campus operations for Friday before 5 p.m. on Thursday.