Forecasters say a serious ice storm is headed our way.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Moneypenny says conditions could be similar to those of a 2002 ice storm that caused long power-outages across the state.
Ice increases the risk of branches snapping power lines, and of motorists sliding off the road into utility poles.
Moneypenney says parts of the Piedmont could receive up to five inches of snow. It will fall on ground that's already frozen, and the air isn't likely to warm up until the weekend.
“The ice amounts could range up to a quarter of an inch, which would be enough to cause power outages, and, of course, roads would be absolutely treacherous beginning this evening and overnight,” Moneypenny said. “So, definitely we're expecting dangerous ice storm conditions with widespread power outages. And they could be prolonged, due to the sheer number of them.”
The 2002 storm left 1.8 million people without electricity on a single day, but many went without power for much longer.
State safety officials are asking people to charge their phones, have a backup power plan, and check in on their neighbors once the storm hits.