Winter storm brings snow, strong winds, and school closures in North Carolina
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.
Flooding threat is starting to decrease but make sure to still be on the lookout for excessive runoff. Meanwhile, in the triad, precip is changing over to all snow. This trend will continue to progress eastward through the afternoon across northern NC! #NCwx pic.twitter.com/hU4WF5QEEo— NWS Raleigh (@NWSRaleigh) January 3, 2022
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.”
Helpful resources to keep in mind during #severewx:— NC Emergency Management (@NCEmergency) January 3, 2022
🚗 Check road conditions on https://t.co/0PMxxOuueW before you go
🌊 Monitor flood gauges at https://t.co/27YownooTc
📲 Sign up for emergency alerts
✅ Follow your local @NWS office#ReadyNC pic.twitter.com/8Ur5YCyLs9
WUNC's Laura Pellicer contributed to this report.