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Snowstorm blankets Twin Counties

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N.C. Wesleyan College senior Mar'Kevian Harrelson walks on campus Wednesday as snow falls at the college.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Thursday, January 18, 2018

For the second time this year, snow is blanketing the Twin Counties, causing local and state authorities to urge residents to stay home and off roadways.

“Don't go out. If you have to go out be cautious, be patient,” said Cpl. Mike Lewis of the Rocky Mount Police Department.

Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency for Eastern North Carolina with a winter storm warnings and advisories in effect for the area. Very cold temperatures are expected to continue into Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

“An arctic cold front is bringing snow along with very cold temperatures across the region,” according to duty forecasters. “The snow will end (Wednesday) evening, but it will be followed by arctic air (Wednesday) night and Thursday.”

With snow accumulations of 3 to 5 inches, motorists should plan for hazardous travel conditions. If someone must travel, they should keep an extra flashlight, food and water in their vehicle in case of an emergency.

A hard freeze was expected Wednesday night, which means travel will remain treacherous today. Local and state road crews were able to prep major roads over the past two days, putting down more than two million gallons of salt brine. Crews should be able to plow major roads as soon as snow accumulates about an inch.

Local authorities reminded folks to be respectful of others and their property during the storm and its aftermath.

“If someone is out four-wheeling or doing rings or doughnuts on someone else's property, that could cause property damage,” Lewis said.

The snowstorm may be moving a little slower than meteorologists first thought it would, but that means its impacts on North Carolina will likely be even greater, Cooper said.

“The snow is pretty, but it can be dangerous,” Cooper said. “If you don't have to brave the roads, please don't.”

Since residents should be home and not out driving, N.C. Emergency Management officials offer the following tips to stay safe and warm:

■ Dress for the cold. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.

■ Keep alternative heating sources and fire extinguishers on hand. Be sure everyone knows how to use them.

■ Properly vent kerosene heaters and keep electric generators outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

■ Don't burn charcoal or use a grill indoors.

■ Use a NOAA Weather Radio or monitor local news media for changing weather conditions.

■ Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.

■ If pipes are uninsulated, keep faucets open to a slow drip to prevent pipes from freezing.

■ Keep pets inside, out of the cold.

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