A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for most of the WBTV viewing area Friday morning until 10 a.m. because of the threat of black ice.
Another blast of winter weather hit the Carolinas Thursday, making travel in the area dangerous, causing widespread power outages, and leading to hundreds of canceled flights at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Winter Storm Warnings were in effect across the Carolinas for a significant winter storm for most of the day Thursday.
Several inches of snow fell on Wednesday mixing with sleet during the overnight hours and another round of snow hit the area Thursday morning. The snow tapered off Thursday afternoon but the wintry mix led to a sharp increase in power outages.
In the Charlotte-metro area, snow accumulations varied greatly, ranging from 3 - 6 inches south of Interstate 85 where more sleet and freezing rain cut down on the snow amounts, to 4 - 8 inches north of Interstate 85.
Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee and Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio even closed all city and county offices Thursday due to the dangerous conditions, and people were encouraged to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.
CATS light rail service was operating on a normal schedule.
The I-277 loop and Independence Boulevard remained hazardous for most of the day and were subject to closure at any time, depending on conditions.
Power outages increased dramatically Thursday morning, but the total number of customers without service had declined Thursday afternoon. At 4 p.m., Duke Energy reported over 23,000 customers without power in North and South Carolina, down from over 31,000 at mid-morning. About 7,500 of those were in Mecklenburg County, down from about 11,000 earlier in the day.
The company said it had 3,400 crews working in the Carolinas to restore power, with more than 1,000 crews brought in from other states. Duke warned customers to prepare for multi-day outages in some areas.
Power outages and cold weather are a bad combination, Meteorologist Al Conklin warns. You should make plans accordingly.
Never bring grills or other open flames into your home which are not designed to be indoors. The carbon monoxide gas from open flames can kill you and your family.
Check and make sure your fire places are in good working order. It's important to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday he signed an emergency declaration, freeing state resources to react as needed.
The NC National Guard was activated, staging its operation in cooperation with the Charlotte Fire Department across the city.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley also declared a state of emergency in the Palmetto State at noon on Tuesday and put the National Guard on active duty to support state agencies. The guard has wrecker teams and four-wheel drive vehicles that can be used in the storm response.
The order also put into effect anti-price gouging laws and allows the governor to take whatever other steps are needed to protect residents.
Several inches of snow fell on Tuesday across the Charlotte area, including the SC upstate, but this was just the beginning.
The majority of the snow and sleet fell throughout the day Wednesday, leaving roads in bad shape as state and city crews raced to keep up with the falling snow.
Sleet and freezing rain posed a high risk of power outages in our southeastern sections including areas around Union, Anson and Richmond counties in NC, and Chester, Lancaster and Chesterfield counties in SC.
"But even north of Charlotte, the heavy, wet snow will also be a concern for power outages, so please be careful," Conklin warned.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport saw thousands of flight delays and cancellations.
American Airlines announced that all incoming USAirways flights into Charlotte were canceled for Thursday, with very limited departures. According to tracking services, nearly 1,000 flights for the day were canceled into and out of the main airports in Atlanta, Dallas and Charlotte.
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