Updated at 7:30 a.m.
A wind chill advisory remains in effect across Eastern North Carolina until 10 a.m. this morning and temperatures are expected to hover around freezing, keeping the potential for icy road conditions this morning.
Meteorologist John Elardo with the National Weather Service forecast office in Newport said the cold temperatures are expected to stay just below freezing into the weekend and that will keep snow and ice on the ground for couple more days, particularly in shady areas.
“It is going to be a slow thawing out period,” Elardo said.
Elardo said it will be dry and sunny today, which will help to melt some areas and allow for continuing road clearing.
While caution is advised on the roads, Elardo said anyone venturing outdoors should dress appropriately today for bitter cold.
The cold temperatures combined with the wind have wind chill around zero to 10 degrees, which can cause frostbite in as little as 30 minutes to exposed skin, according to the NWS advisory.
Elardo said cold wind chills are again possible Friday night into Saturday morning.
Updated at 8:58 p.m.
Freezing temperatures are expected to continue through Thursday night, and breezy cold is forecasted for Friday, according to the National Weather Service.
Robert Frederick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morehead City, said patches of ice will probably be present up through Saturday night. Friday morning, layers of ice and snow that froze overnight will be a big concern on secondary roads that have not been plowed or treated for ice.
"The sun came out today so it started to melt, but all the water that's laying around is probably already icy," Frederick said.
Jacksonville will have the lowest temperatures Thursday night with a low of 11 degrees. Kinston is expected to reach a low of 12 degrees, and New Bern will see temperatures of 14 degrees overnight.
Friday, temperatures will remain below freezing with highs in Jacksonville at 31 degrees, 29 degrees in Kinston and 29 degrees in New Bern.
Wind chill is also expected to pick up Friday, with values between 1-5 degrees, Frederick said.
The best way to beat the wind if you must be out in the elements is to give yourself insulation and dress in layers.
"So people just need to be prepared for that and be bundled up if they have to go outside," Frederick.
UPDATED AT 6:38 P.M.
City and state crews may need a little more time to get the roads back in working order.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is working 24-hour split shifts to plow main roadways, assistant division maintenance engineer Gerard Taylor wrote in an email.
Other roads will be plowed according to the bare pavement system, which prioritizes interstate and four-lane primary routes.
In Jacksonville, these include:
In the city, the roads are being managed by street management, with a focus on emergency routes Thursday.
Johnny Stiltner, Jacksonville streets superintendent, said employees are working to plow main roads until 9 p.m. Thursday, but will not service residential streets.
“We don’t have the assets; we don’t have the manpower,” Stitlner said. He said the only tools they have access to are two plows and a backhoe, which can only do so much downtown.
Friday morning, Stiltner said crews will be out to salt and sand slippery intersections.
The snow removal process, according to Taylor, is a repetitive one.
“(Treatment includes) plowing and applying road salt,” Taylor wrote. “Salt melts to loosen the ice pack roadway. Then plow and reapply salt.”
UPDATED AT 5:27 P.M.
The forecast for Thursday night is a dry one and electric cooperatives in the area hope that will help reduce the chance of outages overnight.
Jones Onslow Electric Membership Corporation spokesman Steve Goodson said that icy, windy conditions Wednesday night caused a lot of falling tree limbs that hit power lines. While some re-freezing is expected tonight, Goodson said there won’t be any additional snow or rain.
“The good thing is there won’t be any more precipitation falling,” he said. “That caused a lot of the problems last night.”
JOEMC had fewer than 10 remaining outages as of 4:45 p.m. Thursday but Goodson said they are ready to respond if others arise.
Goodson said they encourage customers to call to report an outage immediately and not to assume that someone else has already done so.
Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative crews reported at 5 p.m. that crews had restored power from Wednesday night outages and are prepared to head out again Thursday night as needed.
At the peak of the storm, the co-op reported more than 1,500 outages.
Spokeswoman Lisa Taylor Galizia said most outages were caused by downed trees in heaviled wooded areas. There were also two circuit outages, one in western Carteret County and one in Havelock, affected the most co-op member.
National Weather Service meteorologist Casey Dail said no further precipitation is expected overnight but temperatures will dip into the teens.
The concern, she said, is wet surfaces will re-freeze and travel conditions on roads will remain hazardous.
UPDATED AT 2:37 P.M.
All area roads remain open with no curfews in effect, according to N.C Department of Transportation.
Brian Ross Rick, Southeast Region communications officer with NCDOT, advises motorists to "stay off the roads, if possible." Rick said DOT officials are currently in an "aftermath recovery period of this storm," with crews applying salt to area roadways.
Rick cautions drivers to be especially careful while driving at night as snow and ice that may have melted during daylight hours refreezes on roadway surfaces.
"With temperatures below freezing tonight, all that moisture left on the roadway will refreeze. This storm event has transitioned from a snow to ice event," Rick said.
For up-to-date information on road closures and delays on state-maintained roadways, logon to NCDOT’s website at https://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/RegionSummary.aspx?co=67.
Updated at 11:49 a.m.
After 1,800 reported outages from Onslow and Pender Counties, the Jones Onslow Electric Membership Corporation is working to deliver power to six remaining customers.
Spokesperson Steve Goodson said a bad transformer left some customers without power for about an hour Thursday morning.
The majority of outages overnight were reported in Jacksonville, while about 100 others were reported in the Hubert-Swansboro area.
“Literally everything we had was concentrated in that area,” Goodson said.
He said customers who have systems being worked on should have their power up and running early this afternoon.
One call, he said was being held off just until the transformers were repaired.
“The weather being the way it is we’re gonna help folks the best that we can,” Goodson said.
In Craven County, less than 100 outages remain, according a press release from Cateret-Craven Electric Co-op.
Crews are working with T&D Construction to move street to street and repair damages in order to restore power, following over 1,500 outages at the peak of the storm.
Co-op members with further outages to report are encouraged to do so online at carteretcravenelectric.coop/ReportOutage, according to press release.
In Kinston, Public Services director Rhonda Barwick said there were no outages reported. The Kinston Electric Division declined to comment.
Updated at 11:01 a.m.
As of 11 a.m. Thursday, the Outer Banks was the last place still getting snow, according to the National Weather Service.
John Eladoro, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morehead City, said precipitation-wise things have improved.
“The snow has ended and the skies are clear,” Eladoro said. But travel conditions are still a concern, as temperatures have not made it above freezing, and probably will not rise for the next few days.
It was 28 degrees in Jacksonville, 27 in New Bern and 30 in Kinston at 11 a.m.
“It might sneak up just a little above freezing today and melt some of the snow, but there are still going to be some issues on the secondary roads as far as travel,” Eladoro said.
The temperatures are not expected to climb high enough for the snow and ice to melt completely until the weekend ends.
“It’s going to be clear and cold for the next few days,” Eladoro said.
UPDATED 8:47 a.m.
While there are still people without power, crews are in route or already working to get it restored as quickly as possible.
Most of the outages have been concentrated in the Piney Green, Hubert, Swansboro and Bear Creek area, said Steve Goodson, the vice president of energy service with JOEMC. It’s the same area that took the brunt of the ice part of the storm.
All but three of the 12 reported outages throughout the night were concentrated there, Goodson said, and in every single one of them it was a case of tree limbs, heavy with ice, falling onto the power lines.
At the height of it all, Goodson said about 1,800 JOEMC customers were without power. The longest outage lasted six hours, Goodson added. That was a case of frozen tree limbs and a bad piece of equipment that had to be replaced, but Goodson said other outages lasted less than two hours before his crews got the power going once more.
Even with the sun shining Goodson said there’s still a continued threat throughout the day, especially with temperatures struggling to move past the freezing point.
“If you don’t have power don’t assume that we know,” Goodson said. “If you don’t have power, please call us and let us know.”
As soon as JOEMC gets a call Goodson said they get their guys out there as quickly as possible, and that JOEMC as a company and his crews individually all take pride in being reliable for their customers.
“They pride themselves on working until the power’s back on for everyone,” Goodson said.
As of around 9 a.m. there were 136 people with Duke Energy Progress without power and 29 people with JOEMC without power.
Reporter Amanda Thames can be reached at 910-219-8467 or Amanda.Thames@JDNews.com
UPDATED 7:05 a.m.
The National Weather Service in Morehead City has reports coming in now of how much snow accumulated across eastern North Carolina.
Meteorologist John Elardo said they should be able to give total amounts later this morning.
“Things are improving,” Elardo said of weather conditions in ENC. “The snow is ended and we expect clouds to clear out.”
But even with the sun’s appearance today, Elardo said it’ll be a cold and windy day for ENC with the roads still being pretty hazardous – something Elardo said, from experience, he thinks ENC will still be facing Friday.
“I think there’s still going to be an issue for Friday morning, especially on secondary roads,” Elardo said.
He attributed the continued dangerous conditions to the ice and the fact that the temperature will be hovering around freezing today, so only a bit of the winter wonderland will melt.
There will likely still be leftover snow and ice well into the weekend, Elardo said, since Thursday night is expected to drop into the teens and it’s likely ENC won’t get above freezing temperatures until Sunday afternoon.
Luckily, the number of those without power is dwindling. The map for JOEMC now shows just 73 people affected by power outages and Duke Energy Progress shows 98 people in the same boat.
Reporter Amanda Thames can be reached at 910-219-8467 or Amanda.Thames@JDNews.com
UPDATED 6:26 a.m.
Hundreds of households in the area have lost power.
Jones Onslow EMC reports nearly 500 customers without power, primarily on Rocky Run Road and Waters Road, according to the company’s outage map. Many of the households have been without power for 5 hours.
The company also reports a more than 3-hour outage in the North Topsail Beach area.
Duke Energy Progress is reporting nearly another 50 homes without power in the Jacksonville area, mostly along N. Marine Blvd. They expect to have the power back on by noon for those residents, according to the outage map.
Power isn’t the only thing that’s out. Several roads are closed, too.
Camp Lejeune officials say the Sneads Ferry Bridge on N.C. 172 is closed due to ice.
Both Camp Lejeune and City of Jacksonville officials say the roads are covered with snow and ice, and advice motorists to stay off the roads unless travel is necessary.