LAURINBURG — Only a few weeks after Hurricane Florence caused historic flooding and damage to Scotland County, residents braced themselves for another storm. But the county might have dodged a bullet.
Hurricane Michael hit the coast of Florida as a Category 4 storm, making it the third most-powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland in history. By Thursday, as it swept into the Carolinas, it had downgraded into a tropical storm and continued to quickly move along.
While Michael added stress on top of ongoing challenges, Scotland County Emergency Services Director Roylin Hammond said the area was fortunate to not get hit as hard as predicted.
“The storm was supposed to go over Scotland County, but it ended up that we weren’t in the main line as forecasted,” Hammond said. “West of us got a lot worse and impacted them more. We were very fortunate to not have gotten much of it.”
Hammond said there had been a total of 55 people out of power on Thursday throughout the county, including parts of the city, but many got everything back up quickly. As of Friday morning, only nine people were out of power and companies were working on getting them up as quickly as possible.
Scotland County had been forecasted for 40 to 50 mph winds, which was the main reason schools had closed, but as the storm hit the Charlotte area instead, the winds were much milder and didn’t cause many tree limbs to go down.
Hammond said that, while there are trees down in some places, as well as tree limbs, the area got lucky.
“When the storm left we were very much back to where we were when it started,” Hammond said. “We were lucky and we’re glad that everyone stayed prepared …. There didn’t seem to be a lot of people on the roads, which is a good thing that they stayed home.”
In the county, there are several road closures, some which have been closed since Florence, but Hammond said there had been none which had been washed out as they had been — though there were likely trees down blocking roads and making it difficult to get around.
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the road closures in Scotland County are as follows:
— Pea Bridge Road near U.S. 501 was completely closed due to being washed out.
— Old Lumberton Road near Highland Road in East Laurinburg was completely closed as it was impassible.
— Nashville Church Road near Camp Monroe Road in Wagram was completely closed as it was impassable.
— Laurel Hill Church Road near Plant Road has the southbound lane closed with a detour.
— Broadwell Road near Sneads Grove Road has the southbound lane closed as it is impassible with high water across it.
— Seals Road near N.C. 144 has the westbound lane closed as it’s impassable.
— Gum Swamp Lake Road near Marston Road has the westbound lane closed due to weather.
Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or at [email protected]