Governor urges North Carolinians to be prepared for Winter weather

Published 2:22 pm Thursday, February 20, 2020

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As this year’s first blast of winter weather moves in to North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper is urging everyone to be prepared.

“The state is getting ready, and everyone else should too,” said Gov. Cooper early Thursday afternoon. “It’s going to get colder and this winter storm will affect most parts of North Carolina. Please pay close attention to your local forecast and be prepared.”

Northeastern North Carolina may feel the greatest effects – where 3 to 6 inches of snow are possible in the forecast. Whiteout conditions are possible along the coast due to heavy snow and gusty winds.

For the Piedmont Triad and the Triangle, 1 to 3 inches are in the forecast. The mountains could see 1 to 3 inches of snow and the Charlotte area could see 1 to 2 inches. Everyone should pay close attention to the local forecast and be alert to changing weather conditions over the next 24 hours.

Close to 1,000 NC Department of Transportation workers spent Wednesday prepping their equipment and loading up supplies such as salt and brine to contend with the winter weather on its way. In areas where weather allowed, more than 300,000 gallons of brine were placed on major highways, bridges and traditional trouble spots, with more brining planned for today in some areas. Work schedules have been adjusted to account for the likelihood that crews will be working overnight and into Friday morning to clear roads.

The State Emergency Operations Center will activate this afternoon – to monitor the situation and to be ready to respond to any needs from county or local governments. Other State Emergency Response Team partners to include the utilities are working together at the EOC to deploy resources wherever most needed. The North Carolina National Guard has soldiers on standby should they be needed.

Significant icing is not expected and that’s good news because it means the roads will be easier to treat and clear – and there shouldn’t be major issues with power outages. However, if your power does go out, remember to never use a generator or grill in your home or in the garage – the consequences can be deadly.

If you must travel, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol recommends the following precautions:

Reduce your speed. Driving at the regular speed limit will reduce your ability to control the car if you begin to slide.

Leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.

Bridges and overpasses accumulate ice first. Approach them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on the bridge.

If you do 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.

If snow or ice accumulates on top of your vehicle, make sure to clear it off before driving. This helps avoid it blowing off and hitting other motorists potentially causing an accident.

Travelers are asked NOT to call 911 or the State Highway Patrol for road conditions. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls.

For more information on how to prepare for winter storms, use the website. For the latest road conditions you can visit