Hazardous roads and power outages remain after winter storm

Published 11:11 am Saturday, January 22, 2022

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Governor Roy Cooper cautioned people to stay home today (Saturday) and stay safe, as most roads remain snow and ice covered, and thousands of homes and businesses in some coastal counties are without power.

“If you’re in the affected areas, the best way to stay safe is to stay home unless you absolutely have to travel,” Governor Cooper said.

State and local crews are out in force clearing roads today, but temperatures below or near freezing will not offer much help. Refreezing tonight will cause icy roads again tomorrow morning.

There are reports of between three to six inches of snow across the four counties of the Roanoke-Chowan area.

If you must travel, the State Highway Patrol advises reducing your speed significantly and maintaining distance from other vehicles. Be sure to completely clear ice and snow from your vehicle before traveling.

Highway Patrol troopers report responding to more than 1,500 calls for service and 945 collisions in affected areas since Friday afternoon. A majority of those calls were related to vehicles sliding off the roadway and becoming stuck or single vehicle collisions. Also, use caution while traveling on foot, as most sidewalks, parking lots and hard surfaces are extremely slippery.

Nearly 16,000 power outages were reported at about 4 a.m. Saturday, mostly in coastal counties. Utility crews are restoring power quickly and about 4,000 outages remained at 10 a.m., most in Carteret and Onslow counties.

North Carolina Emergency Management recommends these safety tips if your power goes out:

Report power outages to your electric utility company. Refrain from calling 911, except for life safety emergencies.

Keep cell phones and mobile devices charged in case your power goes out.

Operate generators outdoors and away from doors and windows – never in your home or garage, deadly carbon monoxide fumes can accumulate.

Never burn charcoal indoors or use a gas grill indoors.

Use battery-powered sources for light, not candles.

Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. Adding ice or snow from outside can help keep contents cold.

Visit DriveNC.gov for information on road conditions from NCDOT and visit ReadyNC.gov for information on coping with winter weather.