RALEIGH – Gov. Pat McCrory activated the State Emergency Response Team on Thursday for the impending winter storm headed for the east coast. In a press conference, he urged North Carolinians to take steps to prepare. The state preparations are already underway for ice and snow expected starting late Thursday night into Saturday night. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the majority of North Carolina.
The storm system is expected to bring another eight to 18 inches of snow across the majority of the mountains. The Triad may get four to eight inches, and a quarter inch of ice. The Triangle is expected to get one to four inches of snow, and one-quarter to one-half inch of ice. The Charlotte area may see two to four inches of snow and one-quarter inch to 0.4 inch of ice. Eastern and coastal counties are not expected to see as significant an impact, but are expected to get rain with a possible mix of freezing rain.
North Carolina officials have 1,000 people and 500 pieces of equipment ready for the winter weather. McCrory said he wants to be over-prepared and underwhelmed.
“I hope the weather forecasters are wrong, but if they are not wrong, we are going to be prepared,” McCrory said.
Wednesday icy precipitation caused two road fatalities in Forsyth and Stokes counties.
“As we’ve already seen, these conditions can be treacherous,” said Department of Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. “If you can stay off the roads when the frozen precipitation begins, please do. If you must be out, we can’t overemphasize the importance of following safe driving tips.”
The governor will decide later Thursday if state employees will be sent home early Friday.
He will also assess the road conditions Friday and Saturday to decide if weekend events, including the Duke University vs. North Carolina State men’s basketball game and the Carolina Panthers playoff game, will be affected.