Gov. McCrory on winter storm: ‘We still have a lot of work to do’

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Gov. Pat McCrory.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory briefed citizens from the State Emergency Operations Center Thursday on the response to last night’s snowfall across the state.

“It’s not often that the entire state of North Carolina sees significant snowfall like we’ve seen this week,” McCrory said. “While it is beautiful, it also can be dangerous causing downed trees, power outages and treacherous driving conditions. Throughout the morning, we’ve seen driving conditions improve and we expect that to continue through the afternoon. We still have a lot of work to do in the next 24 hours.”

The governor warned motorists to be cautious when driving, and urged everyone to be at their final destination by evening before temperatures start falling and the slush turns to black ice.

The overnight winter storm brought an additional four to six inches of snow to the mountains, between three and seven inches of snow through much of the Triad, Triangle and central part of the state and two to three inches throughout greater Charlotte and eastern North Carolina. The southeastern portions received mostly rain.

On Wednesday, the governor activated the State Emergency Operations Center, declared a State of Emergency and waived certain vehicle weight and service hour requirements to expedite storm response.

Power outages climbed steadily overnight, peaking near 230,000 outages around
9 a.m., as the snow transitioned to sleet and rain adding extra weight to trees and power lines. By noon, less than 180,000 were still without power. Most of the outages are the Triangle area.

Two people died Tuesday in separate weather-related vehicle crashes; no other weather-related fatalities have been reported since then.

Emergency Management officials are coordinating with law enforcement officers from the Highway Patrol, ALE, Wildlife, and Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft, along with National Guard.

“Black ice will continue to be a problem in the coming days,” said Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. “Our State Emergency Response Team partners, which includes county and state level emergency management, law enforcement teams, National Guard troops and DOT are all collaborating to respond to constantly changing needs. The best way to remain safe is to stay off the roads that are covered in snow and ice and plan to stay off roads that may be susceptible to refreezing as the temperatures drop after dark.”

NCDOT crews continue to work on plowing and treating roads across the state.