Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

Gladys Abbott
December 9, 2018

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina A storm spreading snow, sleet and freezing rain across a wide swath of the South has millions of people in its path, raising the threat of immobilizing snowfalls, icy roads and possible power outages.

The storm may affect airports including Asheville and Raleigh-Durham International in North Carolina, Lynchburg and Roanoke in Virginia and Greenville-Spartanburg International, South Carolina. Meanwhile, kids and the young at heart are taking advantage of heavy snow totals with snowball fights and snowmen. Residents could see 3 to 5 inches of snow from midnight tonight through Sunday night.

Medic responded to 55 crashes between midnight and noon, the agency tweeted, adding that the crashes were concentrated on major highways like I-77, I-85 and Independence Boulevard.

"Snow and ice will make roads treacherous", Cooper said at a news conference Saturday.

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper joined emergency officials in warning you may endanger yourself by going out and driving. "Wrap a few presents, decorate the tree, watch some football".

Road impacts will mainly be in NW Arkansas and the higher terrain areas of the River Valley. "I would think this will end up being a historic storm for southwest Virginia and western North Carolina".

"Virginians should take all necessary precautions to ensure they are prepared for winter weather storm impacts", said Northam.

Winter weather advisories are still in effect this morning for much of the Southeast
ABC News Winter weather advisories are still in effect this morning for much of the Southeast

Those in the Charlotte area can expect plenty of winter weather over the coming days, as a large storm system moves through the area. And just as we forecast the heaviest snow is falling north of the Charlotte metro... with heavy accumulating into the foothills and the mountains.

"Snow may be handsome but it can also be treacherous and I urge North Carolinians to take this storm seriously and get ready for it now", Cooper said.

More than 400,000 power outages have been reported across the region with the majority of those - about 246,000 - in North Carolina as of Sunday afternoon, according to the tracking site poweroutage.us. More than 80,000 were without power in SC.

American Airlines also issued a travel alert for nine airports throughout the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Virginia, meaning passengers may be able to change travel plans without a fee.

"Travelers are encouraged to frequently check with their air carrier for any cancellations or delays before coming to the airport", the airport said.

On Saturday, the governor urged people not to risk travel during the snowstorm, which he reminded residents isn't the same thing as "snow fall".

Traffic crews have been busy treating roads ahead of the storm.

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