Gov. McCrory: ‘One of worst storms in decades’
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory said the winter storm that hit North Carolina Wednesday is one of the worst in decades.
McCrory told WSOC the roads are the main concern and said that the Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham area both got hit hard with the storm.
The governor said state officials will monitor the conditions throughout the night.
“We’re now seeing what we have been warning people about for the past 24 hours. This storm is dangerous,” Gov. Pat McCrory said earlier Wednesday. “Road conditions are treacherous in many areas. We can’t stress enough: stay tuned to local media and pay attention to the weather. Do not travel unless it is an emergency. You are better off staying where you are in a safe place than getting on the road.”
Between midnight and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Highway Patrol troopers responded to 1,360 calls for service across the state. Troopers typically respond to approximately 800 calls daily.
By 3:30 p.m., the utilities reported about 101,600 power outages statewide, mostly in New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus and Pender counties. More power outages are expected over the next few days as conditions continue to deteriorate.
The North Carolina National Guard now has about 170 guardsmen with Humvees co-located with local emergency managers to help rescue crews responding to calls. A number of these have been paired with troopers to respond to accident and stranded motorists.
Ten shelters are open in nine counties, with others prepared to open as needed. So far, shelters have opened in Cumberland, Haywood, Iredell, Johnson (two shelters open), Mecklenburg, Moore, Polk, Richmond and Scotland counties.
Local Emergency Operations Centers are open in 37 counties to respond to storm requests for additional supplies and resources.
McCrory declared a State of Emergency on Tuesday, enabling him to mobilize the necessary resources to respond to the storm. It also is the first step in seeking federal funds to help defray the cost of providing emergency services, clearing debris and repairing any damaged public infrastructure. The declaration is executed under the Emergency Management Act. Forty-three counties have declared local States of Emergency in response to the storm.
NCDOT encourages motorists to get the latest information on road conditions by calling 511, visiting the department’s real-time travel information website and following NCDOT’s Twitter accounts.
You can find current weather and road conditions on the free ReadyNC mobile app. Traffic conditions can be found on http://www.ncdot.gov.
Motorists are reminded NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol Communication Centers for roadway conditions; those lines must remain clear for emergency calls.
If you encounter slick road conditions, the North Carolina Highway Patrol recommends the following:
· Reduce your speed.
· Leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.
· Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses which accumulate ice first.
· If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide.
· Do not apply the brakes as that will cause further loss of control of the car.