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NC governor declares state of emergency ahead of winter storm

NC Gov. Roy Cooper declaring state of emergency in advance of winter storm

Blizzard warnings near the coast, heavy snow, ice and below freezing temperatures will make travel extremely dangerous. Cooper urges motorists to stay off of roads unless driving is necessary.
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Blizzard warnings near the coast, heavy snow, ice and below freezing temperatures will make travel extremely dangerous. Cooper urges motorists to stay off of roads unless driving is necessary.

With a snow storm bearing down on North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Wednesday.

The alert applies to impacted parts of the state, Cooper said, enabling necessary resources to be deployed in those areas.

Counties in the east and northeast could see up to 8 inches of snow. All of Eastern North Carolina and some counties in the central part of the state are expected to get some snow.

In the Triangle, the declaration includes Wake, Durham, Johnston, Chatham, Harnett and Granville counties.

The combination of ice, snow, high winds and low temperatures makes power outages possible and driving treacherous.

The governor asked people to stay off roads Wednesday night and Thursday, because travel could be dangerous.

“The good news is that the storm is moving quickly and should be gone by Thursday evening,” Cooper said in a press conference at the State Emergency Operations Center. “The bad news is that we will have unusually cold temperatures sticking around for several days, and those frigid temperatures can be dangerous – particularly for people who may lose power during the storm.”

With the potential of winter weather this week, here are some tips for driving on icy or snow-covered roads.

Areas of the Triangle could get up to 2 inches of snow, with a dusting most likely for most of the region.

Twenty-eight school systems are releasing students early Wednesday, Cooper said, and six are closed.

The adverse weather policy is in effect for state employees. Mandatory state employees must go to work. Non-mandatory employees should use their discretion.

“All state employees should keep in touch with their supervisors,” Cooper said.

Cooper’s declaration triggers state law against charging excessive prices during an emergency, according to Cooper’s office. To ease the transportation of supplies and equipment, the governor also issued an executive order waiving restrictions on truck weights, size and hours of service.

With forecasts calling for wintry weather for the East Coast & parts of the South, take some time now to put blankets, a shovel, & road salt/sand in your car. It’s best to stay off the roads but if you must drive, let someone know your route & whe

Lynn Bonner: 919-829-4821, @Lynn_Bonner

WHAT IS A STATE OF EMERGENCY?

A state of emergency can be declared by the governor or by a resolution from the General Assembly.

Declaring a state of emergency provides additional powers to the governor, including the ability to:

  • Use all available state resources to cope with the emergency, including state personnel and agencies;
  • Use state and local law enforcement agencies and officers;
  • Issue evacuation orders to all parts of a stricken area;
  • Establish economic controls over resources and materials, including food and shelter;
  • Acquire through condemnation or seizure necessary supplies and facilities;
  • Set curfews;
  • Restrict vehicular travel;
  • Waive any state or municipal laws, regulations or ordinances that hinder the relief effort.
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