The latest round of winter weather caused thousands of power outages in Clayton and northwestern Johnston County on Thursday.
A heavy, wet snow blanketed tree limbs, some of which snapped and fell onto power lines. Town of Clayton crews responded to numerous outages near downtown, where 2.500 customers were in the dark, and more than 2,000 Duke Energy customers in the Corinth-Holders community were without power as of 8 a.m. Thursday.
A mix of rain and sleet began falling at about 8 p.m. Wednesday and changed to snow overnight. Paul Whitehurst, Johnston County’s coordinator of emergency management, said some drivers had trouble initially, but overall, traffic problems were few.
“We wanted a lot of them to stay off the roads, and from what I have seen, a lot of people have done that,” Whitehurst said.
After a car slid off of Covered Bridge Road in Clayton Wednesday evening, the town closed North O’Neil Street from Rollingwood subdivision to Covered Bridge Road. Police also closed a historically troublesome section of Amelia Church Road from Amelia Village apartments up to the LionsGate pool.
Whitehurst said power outages were the largest problem created by the storm. A Duke Energy outage map showed that more than 2,200 customers were without power in the northwestern corner of Johnston County, near Wendell Road. Hundreds of others lost power in neighborhoods near the Flowers community, Archer Lodge and on the north and east side of Clayton. About 250 people lost power along Thanksgiving Fire Road north of Selma.
Johnston County Emergency Services did not open emergency shelters, as it sometimes does during winter storms. However, Whitehurst said the county might open a warming shelter to the public if it takes a while for crews to restore power.