Gov. Roy Cooper, on Wednesday, declared a state of emergency across the entire state in preparation for the winter storm heading for the North Carolina Tuesday night.
Cooper urged residents to stay off of the roads when conditions became dangerous for driving.
“Nearly all of North Carolina will be impacted by this winter storm, and we’re making sure North Carolina is ready,” Cooper said. “I urge all of our residents to be prepared and to stay safe.”
On Tuesday, meteorologists were predicting at least one to two inches of snow for nearly the entire state and on Wednesday morning some of those projections had increased to as much as six inches across some parts of central North Carolina.
In the Morganton area residents woke up to about four inches of snow on the ground.
By Wednesday night, forecasts call for the skies to clear across much of the state but below freezing temperatures will mean hazardous travel conditions in the state will continue through Thursday morning.
Cooper’s declaration enables emergency management to assist with storm response and recovery and also triggers state laws against price gouging during an emergency. Cooper also issued an executive order waiving truck weight, size and hours of service restrictions to ease movement of supplies and equipment during the winter storm.
Cooper traveled around the state to various state Department of Transportation (DOT) maintenance facilities in Yadkin and Forsyth counties where he thanked road crews and first responders for their work potentially hazardous situations.
Cooper also again warned residents against unnecessary travel during a weather emergency.
“Unnecessary travel not only puts you at risk, but it can also put our first responders’ lives at risk if you end up needing help,” Cooper said. “And the more vehicles we have on the road, the tougher it is for our DOT crews to treat and clear those roads and get them open again.”
The State Emergency Operations Center was activated Wednesday morning to coordinate the storm response throughout the impacted areas.
Storm preparations include:
· DOT crews have applied more than 1.7 million gallons of salt brine across roadways in 52 counties and have crews and equipment ready to clear ice and snow.
· State Highway Patrol troopers will mark abandoned vehicles along the roadway and coordinate with local law enforcement to ensure no one is stranded.
· State troopers and transportation crews will work to clear disabled vehicles quickly so they don’t impede traffic.
· Adverse weather policy is in effect for state employees. State employees should coordinate with their supervisors.