Cooper Urges Caution: 'Winter Is Just Beginning'
Although the worst of the winter storm has passed through the state, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is reminding residents to prepare for more severe weather.
“Winter is just beginning, and this will not be the last round of winter weather we see this season,” Cooper said Wednesday afternoon in a statement. “Families should make sure they are ready by restocking their emergency kits and keeping vehicles ready for winter weather.”
Cooper said heavy rains are expected to move through the state this weekend, bringing possible flooding in many areas and wintry precipitation in the mountains. The governor urged residents to watch out for black ice on roads as temperatures are expected to drop below freezing Wednesday night. The state of emergency for North Carolina remains in effect.
The state continues to recover from last weekend’s storm, with utility crews working to restore about 7,800 homes and businesses without power statewide. As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, 843 Duke Energy customers continue to experience power outages in Mecklenburg County.
The Department of Public Health confirmed two deaths that were attributed to the winter storm — a man whose car was hit by a fallen tree in Matthews and a truck driver in Yadkin County who died while working to free his rig from the snow. The death of an 82-year-old woman in Haywood County was removed from the count.
According to Cooper, the Highway Patrol responded to 2,328 traffic accidents during and after the storm.
The National Guard is no longer activated, but Cooper thanked all emergency responders and utility crews for their service.