NC snow: Governor Cooper declares State of Emergency ahead of winter weather

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Saturday, December 8, 2018
Duke Energy warns 500,000 could lose power
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Duke Energy warns 500,000 could lose power

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Governor Cooper on Friday declared a State of Emergency for all 100 counties as North Carolina prepares for a major winter storm expected to hit the state starting Saturday.

Winter Storm Warnings and Watches have already been issued.

ABC11 meteorologists agree the RDU area will be the battleground where the snow, wintry mix, and rain collide. That makes specific forecasts difficult because a small temperature shift in the atmosphere can make a huge difference at the surface.

RELATED: How to drive on snow, ice and get out of a skid

Currently, the storm is expected to move into the area Saturday night and last through Sunday.

In a news conference Saturday, Gov. Cooper expressed concerns about possible power outages across the state. Duke Energy warns that the storm could cause 500,000 outages. Officials say residents should be prepared to be without power for days, not hours.

Todd Miller was at Ace Hardware near downtown Raleigh buying a Christmas tree stand on Friday.

"Up in Boston, this wouldn't stop us," Miller said. "We'd all be going to work just doing everything.

"I'll just drive over it. I'm not going to worry about it all," he added. "We had a tiny yard in our last house and shovel our driveway and put the snow in there and when the snow started to get taller than my wife, we said it's time to move."

Ahead of the potential storm, NCDOT crews started to prep brine for the central parts of the state. In Wake County, crews will spray about 120,000 gallons of brine ahead of the storm.

Ashley Pilkington with Durham County NCDOT said crews will prioritize I-40, I-85, and NC 147.

The NCDOT isn't concerned about wet weather ruining brining efforts.

"You have to have a certain amount of moisture to activate the brine," said Jason Dunigan, a Wake County maintenance engineer for the NCDOT. "Brine is going to dry on the pavement after we sprayed, it's got to get wet before it activates so I'm not really worried about that."

As early as Wednesday, area businesses started preparing for a rush on supplies.

Lowe's in Cary has items such as shovels, ice melt, salt, and scrapers.

Ben Forsythe, the Lowe's assistant store manager, said he expects a bigger rush of customers to start coming on Saturday morning.

"When you're using ice melt, you only want to use it when there's ice," Forsythe said. "You don't want to use it when there's snow because it can pit your concrete and it can just cause some damage."

Ron Tarter, of Cary, came to the store to buy ice melt.

"I just know if I throw this on my driveway, my driveway will not freeze," Tarter said. "That's the most important thing when the snow comes."

Forsythe also reminded residents that frozen pipes are a concern in this kind of weather.

"If your pipes freeze, you could have issues with that and potential repairs you didn't account for," the Lowe's manager said. "We have plenty of pipe insulation, things like that."

It's not all serious business

"Snow is fun - it's pretty," Tarter said. "I've got a nice 4x4, and it's fun to drive that in it, so kind of look forward to it.

Whatever happens this weekend, officials said you should start to prepare for this winter season.

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