RALEIGH, NC (WAVY)– Ahead of Sunday’s storm, North Carolina response leaders hosted a press conference with other local weather leaders.

“In Central North Carolina, freezing rain and sleet on top of some snow will fall. The eastern part of our state expects heavy rain and flash flooding, plus high winds, and gusts. Regardless of where you live pay close attention to your local weather forecast, ” said Cooper Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Cooper told North Carolina residents to plan to stay home Sunday and today, make sure they have groceries, medications, and other essentials like water, batteries, and pet food, that they will need for the next few days.

He added State Highway Patrol advises staying off the roads in most parts of the state on Sunday and Monday if you can.

He explained you can go to ReadyNC.gov for guidelines on how to put together a family emergency kit. 
In the case you must drive, he says to check DriveNC.gov for updated information on road conditions and closures.

“Our emergency management team expects ice and wind to bring down some trees and powerlines. We’re in contact with utility companies in advance of expected power outages. Duke Energy tells us they are bringing in other crews from other parts of the country to help out,” said Cooper.

Cooper said Duke Energy’s CEO promised to activate 10,000 people to deal with the storm’s aftermath. 

As previously reported, Cooper declared a State of Emergency Friday to ease transportation rules with storm preparation and response.

Shelters will be opened if necessary and he said 200 national guard soldiers have been activated to assist in storm response.

He said the National Guard will work in Central and Western counties to help with transportation.
“We’ll stage National Guard and Department of Transportation teams at trouble spots on our interstates,” said Cooper.

Emergency Management Chief of Staff, Don Campbell, said as of 8 a.m. Saturday, they have operated the State of Emergency Operations Center and State Emergency Response teams for the winter storm response.

NCDOT’s Transportation Secretary, Eric Boyette, said more than 1,200 DOT contractors and employees have been working hard to pretreat roads since Thursday. He added they have more than 160,000 tons of salt on hand and have spread nearly 2.5 million gallons of brine. 

“Understand, that like all industries, NCDOT staff and our contract resources have been impacted by Covid 19 and labor shortages. We may not be able to respond in your area as quickly as we have in the past, ” said Boyette.

He said they will do everything they can to reopen roads as quickly as possible.