Winter storm shuts down much of Anson County

Abby Cavenaugh

February 13, 2014

This week’s winter storm has shut down much of Anson County. As of Thursday evening, all schools, county offices, the Wadesboro Town Hall and grocery stores Food Lion and Walmart were closed.

The county opened a shelter at Wadesboro Primary School on Thursday afternoon. Those who need transportation are asked to call the Emergency Operations Center at 704-994-3275 or 704-994-3276. “We ask people to please be safe while driving as secondary roads are still ice and snow covered,” said Rodney Diggs, Anson County Emergency Services director. “The state highways have been worked on but are still icy in spots.”

The Wadesboro Walmart closed around 4 p.m., said Captain Brandon Chewning of the Wadesboro Police Department. A spokesperson for Walmart told staff writer Imari Scarbrough that management felt that neither customers nor employees were safe, and decided to close the store. Police officers were stationed at the doors to discourage potential shoppers from entering. The Wadesboro Walmart spokesperson said that the store will reopen when roads are safer.

Walmart staff are working with the county to provide groceries and other supplies to the shelter.

Just before noon Thursday, Anson Community Hospital lost power and was running on a generator. Operations were able to continue for at least 72 hours, according to a press release from the North Carolina Emergency Response Team.

On Wednesday, County Manager Lawrence Gatewood reported that the county’s emergency services were well prepared. “Rodney Diggs, Emergency Services director, Ryan Teal, EMS and Safety director, Lula Jackson, DSS director, Sheriff Allen and other first responders throughout the county have been in communications and coordinating activities all day,” he said via email. “As an extra measure of safety, EMS has added an extra ambulance, the county’s new emergency services center EOC [emergency operations center] has been activated and state assistance requested to make sure that the county has the resources it needs to deal with this weather emergency.”

As a reminder, Anson County Schools will be closed for staff and students on Friday. Wadesboro Town Hall will also be closed, and trash pickup services will not resume until Monday.

All county offices and agencies will also be closed on Friday, Gatewood said. They are scheduled to reopen on a regular schedule Monday morning.

“Mike Sessions, utilities director, and I just returned from a tour of county facilities, the EOC (emergency operations center) and the emergency shelter,” Gatewood said on Thursday night. “The main roads are in good shape, but the side roads and parking lots are snow covered and dangerous.”

All county residents are urged not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

Pee Dee Electric customers should report power outages by calling 800-992-1626, while Duke Energy Carolinas customers should call 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766) to report any outages.

UPDATE: The Anson Record has received word that the shelter will close at 8 p.m. Thursday night.