Snow total revised

Published 9:59 pm Friday, January 29, 2010

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Wakefield, Va. has revised snowfall totals for a winter storm that is expected to arrive in the Roanoke-Chowan area around midnight Friday.

NWS officials are now saying 9-to-15 inches of snow are in the immediate forecast. Earlier on Friday, the NWS placed all of the counties within its region, including the Roanoke-Chowan area and most all of northeastern North Carolina, under a Winter Storm Warning. That warning is in affect from 7 p.m. today (Friday) until 1 a.m. on Sunday.

The heavier amounts of snow will be along the North Carolina-Virginia border and points north. The lesser amounts will be along the US 64 corridor and south. In some areas, the snow may be mixed with sleet.

The “perfect storm” scenario is beginning to take shape. A strong moist storm system over the southern plains will move east-

northeast, reaching a position immediately off the Carolina coast

Saturday. Meanwhile, arctic air will remain anchored over the

region. This combination is expected to produce significant

snowstorm over the warning area.

The snow may become heavy at times during the early morning hours Saturday and will continue into the afternoon before tapering off to snow showers in the evening.

Heavy snowfall will make travel dangerous. Only travel in

an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

Expect the snow on the ground and roads to stick around for a while. Temperatures are expected to dip into the mid-teens on Saturday night. Sunday’s high is forecasted at 32 degrees with an overnight low of 12. Sunshine returns on Monday, but the high will struggle to exceed the freezing mark (forecasted at 37 degrees).

It is advised that residents stock up on necessary items prior to the storm’s arrival. Make sure that all medications are able to carry an individual through at least early next week.

Also make sure your pets are protected from the winter weather. Either bring them indoors or provide plenty of warm bedding in an area protected from the heavy snowfall.

Local DOT crews began pre-treating main roads on Thursday, applying a salt brine spray that makes it harder for snow to bond with the asphalt. However, significant snowfall will keep DOT crews busy as they attempt to plow the roads. Be reminded that they will address the major roads first.

Over the past several days, members of the State Emergency Response Team have been preparing for the storm.

Thirty National Guard Soldiers are prepared to help provide transportation to emergency or law enforcement crews if needed. They also have several generator teams on standby and are prepared to assist with other recovery missions if needed. The State Highway Patrol has placed its 1,800 troopers on alert to help assist with stranded motorists.

“The best advice for North Carolinians is to get ready for the storm and stay home this weekend,” said Secretary Reuben Young of the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. “This storm will impact the entire state with snow, sleet, freezing rain or some combination. Travel will be hazardous, if not impossible, so we’re asking that everyone stay off the roads.”

“The combination of soggy ground, with heavy snow, freezing rain and wind could bring trees down and cause widespread power outages,” Young said. “The utility companies have been very responsive, but folks should be prepared with alternate heating source in case they lose power.”

Citizens are offered the following tips:

Keep alternative heating sources prepared. If you have a fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them.

Do not use charcoal grills or generators indoors.

Turn off electrical appliances that were on when the power went off to avoid a power surge when the electricity is restored.

Use flashlights. Do not use candles; they greatly increase the chance of having a fire in your home.

Limit your activities to no more than two rooms and close off unneeded rooms.

Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors and cover windows at night to keep cold air out and warm air in.

Remember to eat and drink regularly. Food provides the body with energy to produce its own heat.

Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration.

Wear layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Layering clothes keeps you warmer than a single layer of heavy clothing. Remove layers to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.

If you have well water, fill up tubs and buckets with water so if the power goes out you still have water.

Some additional items you may need to have on hand include:

Battery-powered flashlight(s), a portable radio and/or TV with additional, fresh batteries for each

A non-electric can opener

Extra warm clothing

Extra blankets or sleeping bags

A first aid kit, including all essential medications.

Share your snow photos with the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. Go to and look in the lower left hand corner of the home page. There you will see the Multimedia section. Click on “Your Shots” and follow the directions.