‘Now is the time to get ready,’ Gov. Cooper says ahead of Thursday’s snowstorm

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper and other state officials are asking people to stay off the roads this afternoon as a snowstorm heads our way.

The governor held a news conference Thursday morning ahead of this afternoon’s snowstorm, highlighting what to expect and how residents should handle the storm.

Cooper warned that “North Carolina is about to feel this year’s first blast of winter weather” and that “now is the time to get ready. The entire state is under a Winter Advisory or Warning.”

Twenty-nine school districts across the state are closed and another 55 will release students early today, according to Cooper.

“Snowy roads can be deadly if you aren’t careful,” Cooper said. “Pay close attention to [your] local forecast.”

The North Carolina Department of Transportation began brining roads across the state on Wednesday afternoon and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol are ready to help any motorists who need it once the snow starts, Cooper said.

The State Emergency Operations Center will activate at 1 p.m. to respond to any needs local governments have across the state.

North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said his department is engaged with emergency response team partners and the NCDOT and North Carolina National Guard will be on hand to assist when the storm moves in.

NCDOT Chief Engineer Tim Little also spoke at the news conference. According to Little, 403 trucks have put out anti-icing salt brine so far and they have plows and NCDOT trucks ready to respond, if necessary.

Little warned that if you are on the road during the storm you should leave room for snow plows.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Col. Glenn McNeill told motorists to avoid travel if possible and that if you do have to drive, you need to remove snow and/or ice from your vehicle before getting on the roads.

McNeill also warned that black ice is expected Friday morning and roads will be hazardous even when the snow stops.

Snow is expected to start in our area later this afternoon. What will begin as rain will change over to a rain/snow mixture before switching to all snow in the late afternoon or early evening. Snow is expected to continue to fall into the night.

Some areas of central North Carolina could see up to 3 inches of snow. Parts east of here are expected to receive even more.

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