ONLY ON 3: Sick of snow at home, tourists find refuge in warmer Cape Fear


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Right now a snowmageddon is taking over much of the country. So far, though, none of it has made its way to the Cape Fear. That is a good reason for some snowbirds to take advantage of our area.

With old man winter ravaging the northeast, midwest, and now the deep south, some folks decided they had enough and headed down here to get a little break from all that snow and ice.

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“We were supposed to arrive yesterday, but in fact, we were so snowbound, and then we had a lot of snow and ice on top of it,” said Mollie Babize, who is visiting Wrightsville Beach from Minnesota. “We’ve already had, I don’t know, maybe 40 inches of snow this winter and had another maybe 18 yesterday.”

The Cape Fear in February is not typically a tourist destination, but for those hit by the storm, it’s paradise.

Michael Douglas drives a carriage in downtown Wilmington. He says lately there have been quite a few tourists who said they just wanted to get away.

“I’ve had people coming from Minnesota, Boston, Philadelphia, and they were looking for one to escape what was coming, and most of them did, and to just get away from the cold,” Douglas said.

Throughout the country, bitter cold temperatures from a storm system that has blanketed 30 states with a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain producing record-breaking snowfall in several midwest locales, including Babize’s home state of Minnesota.

Though the day she arrived wasn’t the sunniest, she says it’s still a far cry from her home in rural Minnesota.

“Well, it was subzero this morning when we left,” she said. “Of course, that was way before dawn, so this feels like maybe March in our realm of the world.”

Babize says she is staying until Monday and is looking forward to enjoying her relatively warm visit.