RALEIGH, N.C. — Governor Roy Cooper and state officials are advising residents to not let their guard down, as the worst part of this winter storm is still to come later today and tomorrow.
“Roads will become more dangerous and power outages are still expected tonight in southeastern counties,” said Governor Cooper. “If you can, stay put and off the roads as that’s the best way to stay safe.”
Even though most of the state had a break in precipitation Friday morning, snow, sleet and freezing rain are forecast to resume later Friday and continue through Friday night.
Numerous vehicle crashes were reported on slick roads Friday morning. If you must drive, the State Highway Patrol advises significantly reducing your speed and increasing following distance. Be sure to clear ice and snow from your vehicle before traveling and keep some winter emergency supplies in your vehicle like a window scraper, jumper cables, blanket, and a shovel. An immediate towing policy is in effect for vehicles left empty on North Carolina’s highways during this storm.
More than 110 National Guard troops with more than 40 high clearance vehicles are staged at locations in eastern counties, prepared to assist where needed with transportation issues and debris clearance. Utility companies have crews ready to respond to the expected power outages, with power restoration efforts after last weekend’s storm complete.
Governor Cooper signed a state of emergency on Wednesday, in advance of this second winter storm, to mobilize state resources and allow for the possibility of federal reimbursement for storm response expenses. The declaration also bans price gouging during this state of emergency. Complaints can be filed with the NC Attorney General’s office.
To keep safe during winter weather, North Carolina Emergency Management advises residents and visitors to follow these tips:
- Keep cell phones, mobile devices and spare batteries charged in case your power goes out
- 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 ensure generators are operated outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Never burn charcoal indoors or use a gas grill indoors.
- Use battery-powered sources for light, instead of candles, if your power goes out.
- Use a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio or a weather alert app on your phone to receive emergency weather alerts.
- Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first-aid kit and road map.
- Gather emergency supplies for your pet including leash and feeding supplies, enough food for several days and a pet travel carrier.
- Do not leave pets outside for long periods of time during freezing weather.
- Look out for your friends, neighbors and the elderly during winter weather and power outages.