Western North Carolina Readies for Wintry Weather Flooding Remains a Possibility as Rains Continue

Raleigh

As portions of western and central North Carolina prepare for another round of winter weather expected to begin tonight, Governor Roy Cooper reminds people to be prepared and to be cautious when traveling in wintry conditions.

“Parts of North Carolina are expecting snow and ice and I urge everyone to keep a close eye on the forecast,” Gov. Cooper said. “Though Western North Carolina is more accustomed to winter weather than other parts of our state, people in the path of the storm need to get ready and not take unnecessary chances,” said Governor Cooper.

Accumulating snow, sleet and freezing rain are expected late Tuesday through Wednesday across portions of western and central North Carolina.

A Winter Storm Warning and Winter Weather Advisory are currently in effect across the northern mountains and northern Blue Ridge section of the foothills where the highest snow/ice accumulations are expected. Scattered power outages are a possibility due to the accumulating snow and ice on power lines and branches. A Winter Weather Advisory is also in effect for portions of the northwest piedmont along the I-40/85 corridor, including the Triad, for a brief period of freezing rain late tonight into early Wednesday. Elsewhere across the state, a cold rain is expected. Temperatures will warm above freezing during the late morning and early afternoon on Wednesday, limiting travel impacts for the evening commute.

Periods of moderate to heavy rain will continue to increase the threat of flash flooding and flooding of small streams and main-stem rivers later this week. The heaviest rain will remain across western North Carolina, especially in the southwestern mountains. Flood watches may be needed in the coming days.

N.C. Department of Transportation crews have been preparing for potential winter weather by brining major highways, bridges and ramps in some northern counties in the central and western parts of the state. Crews stand ready with salt and a salt/sand mix to treat trouble spots that develop overnight and into the morning commute before the temperatures rises above freezing.

To help ensure you are ready for winter weather, North Carolina Emergency Management officials urge you to: 

  • Always keep at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food in your home. 
  • Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.
  • Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
  • Properly vent kerosene heaters and keep any electric generators outside and away from any open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not burn charcoal indoors. 
  • Monitor changing weather conditions by using a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio or a smartphone weather app. 
  • Keep alternative heating sources and fire extinguishers on hand. Be sure your family knows how to use them. 
  • Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include ice scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first aid kit and road map.

If you must travel during winter weather, State Highway Patrol officials remind motorists to drive safely. It’s important to leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles, and if driving on snow or ice-covered roadways, slow down. If conditions worsen, pull off the highway and remain in your vehicle. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you can take shelter.

For more information on how to prepare for winter storms, download the free ReadyNC app, which provides real-time information on traffic and weather conditions plus open shelters and items needed in an emergency supplies kit, or visit www.readync.org.

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