Residents remember 1989 Christmas snowstorm
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Twenty-five years ago a storm dumped 15 inches of snow in the Cape Fear region, leaving many with a white Christmas and stuck in their homes.
The storm started on December 22, 1989 and didn’t stop until Christmas Eve. Areas reported 15 or more inches of snow. Wilmington native Kevin Gray was 23 years old at the time and was delayed coming home for the holidays due to the storm.
“So when we found out we couldn’t get in to Wilmington because it was that bad there. That kind of amazed me because two or three inches shuts Wilmington, down but 15 inches really shuts it down,” Gray said.
The storm was a result of a rare set of ingredients to get a Christmas snow in North Carolina. A coastal storm system from the Florida region merged with arctic air that was set in place across the Carolinas. That combination created the perfect conditions for snow.
Longwood in Brunswick County had the highest snowfall total at 19.5 inches.
In addition to record amounts of snow, all-time record lows were smashed across the region dropping to 0 degrees creating two weather records in one storm.