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Winter storm brings snow, strong winds, and school closures in North Carolina

 Projections for snowfall this week from the National Weather Service in Raleigh.
NWS Raleigh
via Twitter
Projections for snowfall this week from the National Weather Service in Raleigh.

10:55 a.m.

In North Carolina, heavy rain and powerful wind gusts from a winter storm system have led to power outages, school closures, and delayed openings for COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites.

The national weather service issued a flash flood warning this morning for much of the Triangle, including Raleigh and Durham. Mid-morning, residents in Durham and Wake counties saw a mix of sleet, snow, and precipitation.

To the west, parts of Alamance County and Chatham are under a flood advisory. Orange and Randolph counties remain under a wind advisory and Guilford is under a winter weather advisory.

Severe storms are possible across eastern North Carolina that are capable of producing damaging wind gusts and a few tornadoes. Snowfall accumulated across portions of western North Carolina including the Asheville area.

Schools in Guilford County, Orange County, Chapel Hill and Carrboro are closed Monday due to inclement weather. All in-person and virtual classes scheduled for the day are canceled at those districts too. Flooding made some roads dangerous to navigate across the state.

Three Raleigh area COVID-19 testing sites opened late Monday morning: MAKO Medical delayed the opening of testing sites at PNC Arena, Word of God in South Raleigh, and Mudcats Stadium in Zebulon. All sites were supposed to open around 9:30 a.m.

Duke Energy reported power outages for nearly 80,000 customers in central and eastern North Carolina around 6:30 a.m. Another 25,000 customers are without power west of Charlotte. The Triad has the highest concentration of outages in the state on Monday.

Across the east coast, more than 500,000 customers were without power Monday morning as the winter storm warning extended from northern Alabama and southern Tennessee through Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland.

Further north, the winter storm blanketed streets in and around the mid-Atlantic with rain and snow. In the nation’s capital, it caused the closure of government offices, and grounded the president's helicopter.

Gov. Roy Cooper urged all North Carolinians to stay aware of the local weather forecast and prepare for the conditions.

“It’s important to stay informed of changing weather conditions, and to have a way to receive weather alerts,” Cooper said in a statement. “A little preparation before severe or winter weather arrives can help avoid inconveniences and emergencies later.”

WUNC's Laura Pellicer contributed to this report.

Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Reporter, covering preschool through higher education. Email:
Mitchell Northam is a Digital Producer for WUNC. His past work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SB Nation, the Orlando Sentinel and the Associated Press. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and is also a voter in the AP Top 25 poll for women's college basketball.
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