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Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Wednesday afternoon for all eastern and several central North Carolina counties as the state braces for snow and sleet along with bitter cold.
“This storm is expected to bring snow, ice, and strong winds to parts of our state,” said Governor Cooper. “A winter storm combined with bitterly cold temperatures is a dangerous combination that will make travel difficult and could lead to power outages.”
Forecasts call for two to eight inches of snow along the I-95 corridor and east with higher amounts of six to eight inches in areas between Greenville and Elizabeth City. The heaviest snowfall amounts are expected Wednesday night along the Highway 17 corridor. Along with the snow, central coastal counties could see as much as a quarter of an inch of ice accumulate along with very strong winds.
At the press conference, the governor warned people of the hazards that come with extreme cold weather.
While the storm will not make it Western North Carolina, a reinforcing cold front will bring a fresh blast of frigid air and winds.
Meteorologist Lauren Carroll with the National Weather Service office in Greenville-Spartanburg says a wind chill advisory is in effect from 10 pm Wednesday until noon Thursday.
“We could see wind chills potentially as low as -5, “ says Carroll, “That’s actually heading out the door in the morning, so anybody trying to put kids on a bus, really make sure you bundle up. Minus five isn’t a joke, even though that is not the actual temperature, with the wind chill, it’s very very cold.”
Carroll says the cold weather will hang on through the weekend. Some light snow accumulation is possible on Thursday night in the higher elevations. The latest forecast can be found here