NC prepares for third winter blast in a month


by 13News Now & The Associated Press

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 11 at 6:40 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Winter weather is heading into North Carolina again.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for much of the state from Tuesday into Thursday.

Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday he signed an emergency declaration, freeing state resources to react as needed.

“Our residents, as well as our livestock industry, need heat and electricity. These declarations are one way that the state can help to ensure that goods and services are restored as soon as possible,” Governor McCrory said.

Snowfall is expected to range from about 2 inches on the southern Outer Banks to 8 inches or more in the western mountains. Light snow was reported early Tuesday in Boone and Monroe, as well as Cherry Point, Hatteras and New Bern on the coast.

According to the governor's office, 1,350 NCDOT employees used 445 NCDOT trucks and 15 contract trucks to begin spraying salt brine on interstates, four-lane divided highways and major routes across the state Sunday and Monday in an effort to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement. To date, they have placed 1.9 million gallons of brine on roads statewide.

"We began preparations well ahead of the storm, and our team stands ready to clear whatever it brings as quickly as possible," said Secretary Tony Tata. "Safety is always our top priority. Removing snow and ice from thousands of roadway miles takes time, and rain can wash away brine treatments, so we want to remind drivers to avoid impacted roads unless it is absolutely necessary and use extreme caution if you have to travel."
School districts in largely rural areas like Scotland and Robeson Counties stayed closed Tuesday while others including Moore and Edgecombe counties decided to close by midday.
Forecasters warned a coming mixture of sleet and freezing rain could bring down power lines.  It is recommended people follow these winter safety 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; the fumes can be deadly.
  • 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.
  • If you have well water, fill up tubs and buckets with water so if the power goes out you still have water.
  • 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.

Forecasted amounts of snow combined with below-freezing temperatures, means that the storm’s affects likely will be felt through Thursday.  The good news is the weekend forecast calls for warmer temperatures.