AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Snow blankets North Carolina, making roads treacherous

January 17, 2018 - 1:22 pm

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) A winter storm threatened to dump more than a half-foot of snow Wednesday on parts of North Carolina, canceling school and creating treacherous road conditions.

By early afternoon, the National Weather Service said 6 inches had fallen in parts of Alamance County, while 4 had fallen in Chapel Hill, where the University of North Carolina canceled classes. Several inches had also fallen in the mountains to the west. Forecasters said a swath of the central part of the state could get as many as 8 inches by the time the snow stops falling later in the day.

``This storm is moving a little slower than they had anticipated, but that means that the impacts on our state could be even greater,'' Gov. Roy Cooper said at a news conference.

Acknowledging that some people in the central part of the state had gone to work before the heavy accumulation began, Cooper urged them to ``go ahead and go home from work because it's going to get a little nasty out there.''

He said that most of the state's 115 school systems had canceled or delayed classes.

The state Highway Patrol had already responded to more than 500 collisions by Wednesday morning, patrol commander Col. Glenn McNeill said. State roads had been treated with more than 2 million gallons (7.5 million liters) of anti-icing salt brine.

About a quarter of the day's 360 arrivals and departures had been canceled at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, aviation officials said.

Duke Energy reported about 5,400 outages concentrated mostly in the Charlotte area, as well as Durham and Orange counties. Cooper said that because the storm was packing mostly snow, outages shouldn't be as bad as they would be during an ice storm.

As the snow moved into North Carolina, fat flakes stuck to Tierra Murray's hair when she filled up a tire on her sedan with air at a Sheetz gas station in Durham.

``My tire pressure was low due to the temperatures starting to drop,'' she said early Wednesday.

The 33-year-old nurse's aide said she was leaving a shift in a cardiac unit at Duke University Hospital and heading south to Chapel Hill for another shift at UNC Hospital as a floater available to whatever department needs her. She said that UNC would provide accommodations to medical personnel who need it if the snow keeps them from getting home at the end of their shift.

Asked about her reaction to the forecasts for several inches of snow, she said: ``Just worry because I know I have to be at work. Just hoping to get back home afterward.''

To the west, Scott Boren could see several inches on the ground and parked cars covered in snow from his office in Burlington. Boren, a recruiter for a company that provides cable television installation, said that it had been snowing for several hours by late morning.

Still, he's taking the conditions in stride. He said he would re-evaluate in the afternoon whether to head home early.

``If I hear the streets get bad, I may head home early. But to me driving in the snow is not that big of a deal,'' he said.



 

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