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Use Caution When Travelling as North Carolina Endures First Winter Storm of the Season, Gov. Cooper Urges Storm Bringing Threat of Flooding to Most of the State, Ice to the Mountains, Damaging Wind Gusts

Raleigh

Governor Roy Cooper today urged North Carolinians to remain careful and on guard as the state endures its first winter storm of the season. A wintry weather mix is impacting western counties and nearly the entire state is under a flood or flash flood watch and advised to be prepared for gusty winds. 

“North Carolina is feeling impacts from this storm including ice, heavy rain and gusty winds,” Governor Cooper said. "Be mindful of the potential for hazardous conditions across our state, especially if you are traveling.”

The governor said state Emergency Management and Transportation officials are closely monitoring storm conditions and prepared to respond as needed.

The storm is also causing scattered power outages. As of 1 p.m., approximately 17,000 homes were without power across the state.

While hazardous conditions continue across portions of North Carolina today, conditions are forecasted to improve by the weekend.

Wintry Weather in the West
Western North Carolina was under Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories through 1 p.m. Areas in the northern mountains have reported ice accumulations of one quarter to one half inch and scattered power outages, while light sleet and accumulations have been reported across the foothills.

Conditions will begin to improve this afternoon as temperatures warm above freezing. Scattered rain showers remain possible through this evening, but the heaviest rain is expected to end this afternoon in western and central areas. Meteorologists say conditions will become blustery and cold overnight, with temperatures falling into the 20s. Scattered snow showers also are expected across the mountains tonight, with accumulations generally less than one inch (possibly two inches across the higher elevations along the Tennessee border).

Transportation officials report that roads in the Asheville area and the southern mountains remain clear.

Flood and Flash Flood Watches Across Much of State 
Most of the state is under a Flood Watch or Flash Flood Watch until later tonight. Flood warnings will likely continue for several days for areas around river basins. Rain showers will continue for much of the day today, which could lead to additional flooding of rivers and streams. Breezy conditions along with saturated soils could lead to isolated downed trees and power outages. For the latest river flood information visit the NC Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network (NC FIMAN). 

Damaging Wind Gusts Possible in Coastal Areas
Scattered severe storms are possible through the afternoon with some storms capable of producing damaging wind gusts and possibly a tornado or two across coastal areas. Gusty winds also are possible outside of thunderstorms, especially across northern portions of the coast, where winds could gust 30-45 mph this afternoon.

NCDOT is cancelling several coastal ferries today due to high winds. For more information, check out @NCDOT_Ferry on Twitter or call a ferry terminal using the phone numbers listed on page 3.

The weekend forecast predicts dry weather and warmer temperatures with highs in the 50s for much of the state and mountain highs in the 40s.

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