Citizens, public safety and utility officials are making preparations Saturday in North Carolina ahead of a Winter Storm that will bring lots of snow, freezing rain, ice and power outages to the Tarheel State.
Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency for all 100 counties and a large swath of the state is under either a winter storm warning or winter storm watch.
“North Carolina is gearing up for a major winter storm and we’re taking all steps necessary to have the resources we need in place to respond,” Governor Roy Cooper said in a statement. “Snow may be beautiful but it can also be treacherous and I urge North Carolinians to take this storm seriously and get ready for it now.”
The National Weather Service in Raleigh, NC, predicts that the snow will start late Saturday and continue into Sunday afternoon when it will transition into freezing rain. Parts of Central and Eastern North Carolina are expecting up to six inches of snow and a 1/4″ of ice accumulation while western and northern portions of the state could see close to a foot of snow.
Travel is likely to be very difficult Sunday and Sunday night. Even in locations with lesser snow accumulations, the potential for accumulations of snow and freezing rain combined will impact travel. Downed trees and limbs may create significant power outages additional travel hazards.
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Duke Energy, the largest electricity provider in the state, has almost 9,000 employees on-call to handle the half-a-million outages they expect during the storm.
“A slight change in the storm’s track or in the temperature could result in fewer or even more outages, so everyone needs to be prepared,” said longtime Duke Energy chief meteorologist Nick Keener.
Widespread, multiple-day power outages are expected for the Mountains, Foothills, Piedmont, Triad and Triangle areas of North Carolina and portions of Upstate South Carolina and customers should be prepared, according to Duke Energy.
Customers who experience an outage during the storm have multiple ways on how to report it:
- Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply)
- Call the automated outage-reporting system at 800.POWERON for Duke Energy Carolinas customers and 800-419-6356 for Duke Energy Progress customers.
- Report an outage or view current outages online at www.dukeenergyupdates.com
Duke Energy also will provide updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed if significant outages occur:
- Duke Energy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DukeEnergy
- Duke Energy on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DukeEnergy