LUMBERTON — While a lot of folks in Lumberton had a day off Wednesday and could enjoy the snow, for John McCune and Robert Andricci the weather meant nothing but work.
Employees of Lumberton-based McArthur Construction Company, the two stopped briefly at a convenience store on Fayetteville Road early Wednesday on their way to clear the roadway and parking lot leading to the Southeastern Medical Center’s cancer center.
“People got to get in there,” McCune said.
Working in the snow and ice — a strange experience for most Lumberton residents — was nothing new to Andricci, who is originally from Mays Landing, a community in southern New Jersey.
“I’d rather be doing something else today, but at least the purpose (of clearing the road and lot to the cancer center) is worth doing the job. I like to make it so these people can get out and about.”
As the two workers prepared to move down the road to their waiting job, freezing rain and sleet was increasing, making roadways slick. Cars moving along Fayetteville Road could be seen occasionally sliding from side to side.
A police officer on Roberts Avenue across from The Village Station restaurant expressed his concern that the freezing rain and sleet that had been falling since early morning was making driving conditions in Lumberton and surrounding areas extremely dangerous.
“Since this started falling there have been eight wrecks. In fact I’m heading to one now,” he said as he jumped into his car. “With these conditions, things are going to get a lot worse.”
Major food and convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and businesses such as WalMart and Lowe’s building supply were open for business early Wednesday. Employees in several stores told The Robesonian business was slow, with most people appearing to be taking the advice of law enforcement and others to stay off the roads unless necessary.
At the McDonalds restaurant on Roberts Avenue, employees were waiting to see if the fast-food joint would be closing early Wednesday afternoon. Because of the inclement weather, the 24-hour restaurant was scheduled to close its doors at 8 p.m.