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Icy Conditions Continue In North Carolina After Storm

Updated 8:58 a.m. | Jan. 5, 2018

It's bitterly cold in North Carolina after a storm dumped more than 6 inches of snow in the eastern part of the state.

The National Weather service issued a winter weather advisory Friday for about two dozen counties in central and eastern North Carolina. Forecasters say says snow cover and the ice create dangerous driving conditions.

A wind chill advisory is in effect for almost the entire the state. Wind chill readings are ranging from -25 degrees in the mountains to around 0 degrees on the Outer Banks.

Schools and some government offices are still closed in parts of central and eastern North Carolina. As the storm moved north along the East Coast, parts of the Outer Banks were hit with hurricane force winds.

A Chapel Hill municipal truck sprays ant-icing on the streets Thursday afternoon.
Credit Jay Price / WUNC
A Chapel Hill municipal truck sprays ant-icing on the streets Thursday afternoon in anticipation of an expected hard freeze, which could turn what’s mostly soft, slushy and drivable to treacherous ice by Friday morning.

Updated 11:56 a.m. | Jan. 4, 2018

Crews are working around the state to remove snow that fell across North Carolina.

The National Weather Service said unofficial reports indicated that 6 inches have fallen in places such as Pinehurst and the northeastern corner of the state. Fayetteville had 4 inches. Wake and Durham counties got more than 1 inch.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said it had more than 650 vehicles out clearing roads Thursday morning. It reported that it had used nearly 200,000 gallons of brine and 3,700 tons of salt in the storm.

At least three people have died in vehicle crashes since Wednesday night's winter storm. Two died in Moore County when their pickup truck slid off the road. Governor Roy Cooper said in a press conference today that another died in Beaufort County.

Cooper said the state highway patrol has responded to more than 1,000 calls for assistance so far, including 700 collisions.

"You can make the job of our first responders and our road crews a lot easier by staying off the roads unless it is absolutely necessary," Cooper said in a mid-morning press conference.

Temperatures are expected to drop into the teens again tonight, making black ice likely into the weekend. 

The snowstorm hit parts of North Carolina with an unexpected strength, including Moore County, where residents said they were stuck in their cars for hours in traffic jams.

Commander Colonel Glenn McNeill said Thursday that people should stay off the roads whenever possible, and those who must drive should be extremely cautious.

"Conditions are changing so be careful," McNeill said. "Be mindful of slick spots that have been cleared away, because they may ice over during the night. Because of the cold temperatures over the next two-to-three days, we're not expecting much melting, so please be careful."

A snow-covered Nash Square in downtown Raleigh on January 4, 2018.
Credit Jason deBruyn / WUNC
A snow-covered Nash Square in downtown Raleigh on January 4, 2018.

Drivers told WRAL-TV that cars were stopped or moving slowly Wednesday night on U.S. Highway 1 in Southern Pines and Aberdeen. Kristine Castillo estimated 60 to 70 cars were stopped as she was in her car for hours.

Penny Creed says she went to cars in the "bumper to bumper" traffic giving our scarves, gloves and hot chocolate. She says she also invited some people into her home for cookies and cocoa.

At the same press conference, Governor Cooper urged those who must venture out to check the Ready NC app for real-time road conditions and preparedness advice. He asked residents to bundle up, bring pets inside and make sure neighbors are settled.

"We want to ask people to check on their friends, their family -- particularly our seniors -- to make sure that they are doing okay," Cooper said. "If you've lost power, or if you have a problem, it can get very cold, and people can fall, with icy conditions now."

This story will be updated throughout the day.


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Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
Elizabeth “Liz” Baier is WUNC’s Digital News Editor. She joined the station in May 2016.
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