Residents woke Friday to cold houses, falling trees and slushy roads as the latest winter weather turned into a cold drizzle.
A Carrboro Post Office worker was taken to UNC Hospitals for suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, fire officials said.
Orange County declared a state of emergency shortly before noon and asked the state Department of Transportation to send crews with chainsaws. Crews with the N.C. Division of Forestry were expected to join local firefighters and rescue crews clearing fallen trees once the 30 mph-plus winds calmed down, officials said.
More than 30,000 people were reported to be without power, as of noon Friday.
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Duke Power’s website reported the heaviest outages in Orange, Durham, Alamance, Guilford, Forsyth, Davidson and Randolph counties. Power crews were working to restore power to affected areas, according to the website.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools did not cancel classes Friday, but decided around noon to send students home.
Electricity had been sporadic throughout the morning at five schools – Carrboro, Seawell and Morris Grove Elementary, Smith Middle School and Chapel Hill High School – district spokesman Jeff Nash reported.
Those students were sent home first. Other elementary schools were scheduled for dismissal at 1 p.m., middle schools at 1:45 p.m. and high schools at 2:30 p.m.