Winter weather: More than 20 million people from Texas to the Carolinas are under winter weather warnings
The dual threat prompted the governors of North and South Carolina and Virginia to declare states of emergency. Overall, the warnings cover a large area including southern Texas, southern Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, western Florida, Virginia and the Carolinas.
The ice storm warning for parts of the Coastal Carolinas went into effect at midnight and is expected to remain in place until noon Saturday.
According to CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford.
“There is a good chance that there is a power outage in the ice storm warning areas,” Shackelford said.
The area is also bracing for heavy snowfall this weekend. Warnings were issued for parts of North Carolina and Virginia predicting 1 to 4 inches of snow, with some areas up to 6 inches. Wind gusts can also reach 40 mph.
In Charleston, South Carolina, the main threat is freezing rain with ice build-up up to a bright glaze, Shackelford said. For North Carolina, slightly more snow is possible, with totals potentially up to 2 inches, and the ice accumulation still leaves a bright glaze, he added.
For Texas, cold wind and winter storm warnings are in effect through Friday afternoon, Shackelford said.
Because of the freeze, travel and power outages remain the biggest concerns.
In North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper warned that southeast counties could experience widespread power outages and dangerous roads.
“That’s where a quarter inch or more of ice is expected on trees and power lines, and that’s the recipe for power outages, unfortunately,” Cooper said Thursday at a news conference. when he encouraged people to stock up on groceries.
Cooper added that his National Guard has been activated, providing 114 troops with equipment including high clearance vehicles, trucks and ambulances.
The latest weather disturbance comes nearly a week after a blizzard made landfall in the Southeast, leaving more than 130,000 people in darkness across the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia and Maryland. Ice is also a major threat as hundreds of auto accidents have been reported.