State Officials Urge Final Preparations for Winter Storm

Governor Activates National Guard for Storm Response

RALEIGH, NC (January 15, 2022) — Governor Cooper and state officials are urging North Carolina residents to complete their preparations today for the incoming winter storm, which will cause substantial impacts across the state beginning in the mountains tonight.

The snow, sleet and freezing rain expected across parts of the state will lead to travel disruptions and power outages. Several inches of snow are expected in the mountains, while sleet, freezing rain, ice and some snow are expected in central North Carolina. The eastern part of the state will see mostly freezing rain and rain, with the possibility of some flash flooding.

“Regardless of where you live, pay close attention to your local weather forecast to get prepared and to know whether it’s too dangerous to go out,” Governor Cooper said. “Today, make sure you have groceries, medications and other essentials like water, batteries and pet food that you’ll need for the next few days. Staying at home and off the roads on Sunday and Monday if you can will be the best way to stay safe and to help road and utility crews do their work.”

N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) workers have been brining roads, however, transportation officials recommend staying off the roads once travel conditions begin to deteriorate. NCDOT crews and contractors will work to clear roads as fast as possible, but response times are expected to be slower than usual due to labor shortages impacting crews around the state.

If you must travel during bad weather, State Highway Patrol officials remind motorists to reduce speed, leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles, and clear all ice or snow from your vehicle before traveling. If you become stranded, pull off the highway, remain in your vehicle, and call for help. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you can take shelter.

The Governor signed a state of emergency Thursday to activate state resources to respond to the storm and to allow for the possibility of federal reimbursement if the event qualifies. He also activated about 200 National Guard personnel who will be located in western and central counties to help with transportation-related issues. They will have utility vehicles, trucks and 4-wheel drive ambulances that can move through the snow. National Guard and DOT teams are also staging at winter trouble spots on interstates to help keep traffic moving.

Utility companies are preparing for significant power outages by bringing in extra crews, including many from other states. Power outages start to become widespread when a quarter-inch of ice accumulates on power lines, and the forecast calls for icing to exceed that amount in some areas.

To prepare for winter weather, North Carolina Emergency Management officials recommend these tips:
• Always keep at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food and a supply of medication in your home.
• Keep cell phones and mobile devices charged in case of power outages.
• Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.
• Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
• Properly vent kerosene heaters and ensure generators are operated outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Never burn charcoal indoors or use a gas grill indoors.
• Use a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio or a weather alert app on your phone to receive emergency weather alerts.
• Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first-aid kit and road map.
• Make an emergency supplies kit for your pet and include medical records, leash and feeding supplies, enough food and for several days and pet travel carrier.
• Do not leave pets outside for long periods of time during freezing weather.

With heavy rain and coastal flooding possible across eastern North Carolina, it is important to never drive through flooded roadways.

Visit for additional information on winter weather preparation, as well as information on power outages. Visit for current travel conditions from NCDOT.

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