North Carolina snow updates January 2017; 260 wrecks, 8 inches in parts of state
Published 8:30 am Saturday, January 7, 2017
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on a winter storm in the South (all times local):
North Carolina’s governor says winter weather has caused numerous car crashes and is urging people to stay off the roads.
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Gov. Roy Cooper said Saturday that there were at least 260 traffic accidents between midnight and 6 a.m. as the winter storm blew in. Authorities say they haven’t confirmed any weather-related deaths.
Cooper says that even after precipitation is expected to stop later in the day, bitter cold will blow in and refreeze any melted slush on roads.
He says the heaviest snow fell on an area stretching northeast from the Triad area around Greensboro to counties along the Virginia border.
The National Weather Service says Greensboro, Burlington and Roxboro have had more than 8 inches of snow.
A snow storm in the South is causing airline cancellations and power outages.
Duke Energy said early Saturday there were about 14,000 outages in the Carolinas. That includes about 3,000 in the county surrounding Charlotte and more than 4,000 in neighboring Union County.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport said its staff worked through the night to clear runways. It said most airlines had canceled flights through mid-morning.
The Charlotte airport said it would open with limited operations after de-icing 70 planes on Friday and plowing of the airfield. It advised travelers to check their carrier for cancellations.
Roads were also treacherous. The South Carolina Highway Patrol said there was significant snow on roads in the northern part of the state and asked drivers to stay home.
People across much of North Carolina are waking up to a blanket of snow.
The National Weather Service said early Saturday that cities including Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Roxboro had more than six inches of snow and sleet. A wintry mix heavier on sleet is pelting Raleigh and other parts of the state to the southeast.
Several more hours of precipitation are expected in North Carolina, with the storm headed toward Virginia.
North Carolina’s governor has urged people to stay off the roads.
Snow, sleet and freezing rain pelted a wide swath of the South overnight, turning roads icy and impassable in spots amid reports of car crashes as many braced for up to a foot of snow in parts of the Carolinas and Virginia.
New North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper was supposed to have been sworn in Saturday at an outdoor ceremony attended by thousands. He instead rushed through a 20-minute indoor oath-taking Friday.
“Consider yourselves the chosen few,” Cooper jokingly told family, friends and well-wishers able to attend his swearing-in Friday.
Much of North Carolina is under a winter storm warning until 7 p.m. Saturday and southeast Virginia was under a blizzard warning. Meanwhile, ice and snow on some roads in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia made driving hazardous.