HAMLET — The threat of severe weather on Thursday will have Richmond County students getting out early.
Richmond County Schools announced Wednesday afternoon that students will be dismissed at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
“There will be no meals delivered Thursday and all afterschool activities for Thursday have been canceled,” Public Information Officer Jasmine Hager said in a statement. “As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority.”
According to the National Weather Service, strong to severe storms are expected in the late morning hours through the afternoon, with the highest risk being over the eastern Sandhills and southern Coastal Plain.
Forecasters say damaging straight-line winds, large hail and tornadoes are possible with the storms.
During the 4:30 p.m. update, Meteorologist Nick Petro said there were confirmed tornadoes and wind damage in Alabama from the system making its way to the Carolinas.
The largest hail, which could range from quarter- to baseball-sized, and highest potential for tornadoes and strong winds is expected along the U.S. 1 corridor.
With the winds, there is also the potential for power outages due to downed trees and power lines.
Current forecast models show the line of storms passing through the area around 4 p.m.
Following scattered showers on Friday, overnight temperatures are expected to drop to near freezing.
The weekend looks to be mostly sunny with highs in the upper 50s.