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North Carolina Starts Digging Out from Winter Storm Many roads covered with snow and ice, dangerously low temperatures remain a concern through weekend

RALEIGH

A strong winter storm moved quickly through North Carolina Wednesday night into Thursday, leaving three deaths, significant snow, and scattered power outages, Governor Roy Cooper said Thursday. While the snow will end by mid-day, bitterly cold temperatures will remain through the weekend, and refreezing will make it difficult to clear roads.

“Snow, ice and frigid temperatures mean driving conditions could remain hazardous through the next several days,” Gov. Cooper said. “Our transportation crews, state troopers and other first responders are doing a great job, but you can make their jobs easier by staying off the roads unless absolutely necessary.”

Since the storm began, State Highway Patrol troopers responded to more than 1,300 calls for service across central and eastern North Carolina, including nearly 900 collisions. 

Three North Carolinians lost their lives during the winter storm. Two men died when a pickup truck overturned in a creek in Moore County. A man in Beaufort County died when his truck drove off a private road and overturned.

Snowfall amounts varied greatly across the central and eastern part of the state. Areas in the Sandhills saw five to six inches, Triangle communities got up to three inches of snow, and areas in the east and northeast have received up to seven inches so far. Several northeastern and coastal communities are still facing blizzard-like conditions.  

As of noon, about 5,000 homes and businesses were still without power, mostly in Currituck, Dare, Harnett, Pamlico, Rockingham and Wake counties. Power outages peaked at 20,000 overnight and have fluctuated throughout the morning. Utility companies are working quickly to restore service.

Across the state, 86 school systems closed schools or opened on a delayed schedule today.

The State Emergency Operations Center remains active to coordinate storm response throughout the impacted areas. To respond to the storm:

  • NCDOT crews have applied more than 1.7 million gallons of salt brine and 4,000 tons of salt and sand across roadways in 60 counties. DOT crews are working today to clear 9,000 miles of interstates and major highways and plan to tackle secondary roads tomorrow.
  • State troopers are marking abandoned vehicles along the roadway and are coordinating with local law enforcement to ensure no one is left stranded in these dangerous temperatures.
  • State troopers and transportation crews are working to clear disabled vehicles quickly so they don’t impede traffic.
  • National Guard troops remain on standby and prepared to respond if needed.
  • The adverse weather policy remains in effect for state employees. State employees should coordinate with their supervisors.

Governor Cooper reminded people that the extreme cold will linger for several more days and urged residents to take extra precautions when outdoors and when heating their homes.

Wear multiple layers of clothing, limit time outdoors and cover exposed skin. If you must use an alternative heat source, make sure you know how to do so safely. Never run generators or use grills indoors. Get more tips on cold weather safety from the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Real-time weather and road conditions, as well as winter safety tips, can be found on the free ReadyNC mobile app or online at readync.org.

Travelers are urged to go to drivenc.gov for up to date roadway conditions. Motorists are reminded NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol Communication Centers for roadway conditions. Callers can dial 211 for information about other resources. Deaf and hard of hearing callers can dial 888-892-1162.

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