(This blog was from the first day of the storm, Wednesday 2/12/14)
Update 4:25 p.m.:
“Many businesses work to help their communities when bad weather strikes, but if you spot anyone using this storm to make an unfair profit off consumers, let us know about it." - Attorney General Roy Cooper
Update 4:19 p.m.:
Chapel Hill Police are saying they are only responding to serious crashes and those involving injuries because road conditions have led to a large number of minor crashes. Chapel Hill Police Department says drivers in those situations should simply exchange information and report the incident later.
Update 4:15 p.m.:
As if we had to tell you: Nearly all flights in and out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport have been canceled for the rest of the day and into tomorrow morning. Crews are clearing the runways one at a time, but people with travel plans over the next several days are encouraged to check their flight status regularly.
Update 4:02 p.m.:
Thousands are stuck on the roads in the Triangle as snow continues to fall. Ryan Ellis is with the National Weather Service in Raleigh: "We expect accumulations of anywhere from 4 to 7 inches of snow here. It will transition this afternoon and has in some areas south and east of the Triangle into sleet and perhaps freezing rain."
The Triad will likely see between 6 to 9 inches. Ellis says temperatures will remain at or around freezing tomorrow so it may take until Friday for the snow to begin to melt.
Update 3:59 p.m.:
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) February 12, 2014
Update 3:54 p.m.:
— The Outer Banks (@theouterbanks) February 12, 2014
Update 3:29 p.m.:
Chapel Hill police report "Pretty much every major road in town is gridlocked."
Road conditions terrible throughout town. pic.twitter.com/0VSlbiJLNv
— Chapel Hill Police (@ChapelHillPD) February 12, 2014
Update 3:17 p.m.:
Na'l Weather Service-Ral: Travel becoming difficult-impossible, accidents & abandoned cars. People shld remain in place of safety thru #ncwx
— NC Emergency Managem (@NCEmergency) February 12, 2014
— Tyler Dukes (@mtdukes) February 12, 2014
— Brian Shrader (@wraltraffic) February 12, 2014
Update 2:54 p.m.:
Update 2:37 p.m.:
We reported earlier that despite the weather, tonight's UNC/Duke men's basketball game will be played as scheduled. Steve Kirschner is the communications director for UNC Athletics. He says everyone who needs to be at the game, will be:
"The ACC policy is if the team and officials can safely arrive at the site, then we should try and play the game. And the ACC has three officials that are local that will be able to get here. Duke has said that it will be able to get here. Our kids are on campus and will be able to go as well."
Kirschner urged ticket holders to use their best judgment when deciding whether or not to drive to the game. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. The game will also be aired on ESPN.
Update 2:28 p.m.:
Want to know what things are like in a car in downtown Raleigh?
Update 2:17 p.m.:
This picture was taken yesterday, but it is so powerful:
Update 2:03 PM:
Via NC Emergency Management:
Updated list of shelters (see additional list below.)
Hollister at Hollister Elementary School
Aberdeen at Southern Middle School
Enfield at Enfield Middle School
Roanoke Rapids at TJ Davis Recreation Center
Rockingham at Richmond Senior High School
Charlotte at the Homeless Resource Center
Lenoir at the Mulberry Recreation Center
Columbus at the Chapter Facility
Update 1:46 p.m.:
Some retailers are trying to keep up with demand for firewood. Chris Williamson, owner of Piedmont Feed & Garden Center says his phone has been ringing off the hook:
"You know just with the storm approaching the demand in the last couple of days has been extremely strong and specifically today we have had several loads going out this morning and then we have had a rash of customers coming in for small amounts to put directly in their vehicles to take home today."
Williamson says many customers have not been able to have their propane tanks filled because of the high demand and are buying firewood as a backup in case of power outages.
Update 1:43 p.m.:
State officials say one of their top priorities will be to make sure roads will be safe during this winter storm, both for residents and first responders. State Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata says his division has used 15oo tons of salt and 2.7 million gallons of brine to treat roadways. He says crews have been reacting as conditions change:
"We know that some of the rain yesterday from the first of the one-two punch..some of that was rain that washed the brine off. So...the areas where that happened we re-brined in temperatures we think are sufficient to hold that brine in place where we're going to get the snow or ice."
Slick roads have already caused several injuries around the state. One death has been reported in Moore County. Secretary Tata and other state officials are urging residents to stay off the roads until the worst of the storm passes.
Update 1:38 p.m.:
Experts say this storm could rival the big ice storm that hit NC in 2002. Victoria writes on Facebook:
I remember that ice storm we lived in an apartment u could hear the ice building up falling off the roof and trees literally breaking in two .. the car that took my usual parking space had half a tree on it the next morning.
Update 1:34 p.m.:
— Gurnal Scott (@gurnalscott) February 12, 2014
Update 1:25 p.m.
Update 12:58 p.m.:
Shelters around the state:
Apex United Methodist Church
Garner United Methodist Church
Smithfield-Selma Senior High School
West Johnston High School
Southern Middle School in Aberdeen
(pet friendly shelter)
Update 12:53 p.m.:
UNC/Duke basketball game will be played as scheduled. Depending on attendance, UNC might open up stadium to accommodate more students. Urging people to use their best judgment. Game will be on ESPN.
Update 12:44 p.m.:
Governor Pat McCrory is urging North Carolinians to be ready to deal with the effects of this latest winter blast over the next two days. He spoke this morning at the state Emergency Operations Center surrounded by public safety officials. Governor McCrory has already signed a state-of-emergency declaration. He says now state officials are waiting to see which areas the storm will hit hardest: "This storm is going to impact the entire state. To what degree is going to vary across the state. Some will be impacted by rain, some impacted by ice, some impacted by snow. Some impacted by all three..which makes this team's logistics very difficult. But they're adapting as the weather conditions continue to change."
McCrory says there has already been one death related to weather conditions. A woman was killed in Moore County when the car she was riding in skidded off the road and struck a tree. A state trooper was also hospitalized when his car was hit by another vehicle as he was working an accident scene. A winter storm warning will remain in effect until tomorrow evening.
Update 12:27 p.m.:
State safety agencies are out in force to help motorists who will be using Interstate 95 during the winter storm. Two "Incident Management Assistance Patrol" units from the Research Triangle area, one from the Triad and two from the Charlotte area will be used to patrol the entire length of I-95. Drivers who need assistance are encouraged to dial star-H-P, and the patrol dispatch can send an IMAP to the location.
Update 11:55 a.m.:
Nick Pietro of the National Weather Service says precipitation will be heavy over the state later today. Snow is expected over the Triad and Triangle this afternoon. Snow has already turned into freezing rain across the Eastern part of the state. It's all expected to turn to ice this evening. "This evening, from sunset to midnight, that's when residents of Central North Carolina are urged to not go out, not travel, simply stay indoors. And folks who do go out, there's a pretty good chance they're gonna slide off the road, find themselves stranded, or worse," he notes.
Pietro says by the time the storm passes tomorrow evening, the Triad will see about 9 inches of snow, and the Triangle could have 6 inches of snow, plus a quarter-inch of ice. A third-inch of ice is likely in Eastern North Carolina, and a half-inch to the south.
Pietro says the temperatures will remain below freezing until the weekend, when they'll warm slightly during the day. Still, they'll drop below freezing again at night, increasing the risk of black ice.
Update 11 a.m.:
The threat of snow, sleet and freezing rain is putting the brakes on passenger rail service through the Carolinas. In North Carolina, service is suspended on the northbound and southbound Carolinian, and the eastbound and westbound Piedmont.
Update 10 a.m.:
National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Moneypenny says conditions could be similar to those of a 2002 ice storm that caused long power-outages across the state. "“So, definitely we're expecting dangerous ice storm conditions with widespread power outages. And they could be prolonged, due to the sheer number of them.” The 2002 storm left 1.8 million people without electricity on a single day, but many went without power for much longer.
— NC Emergency Managem (@NCEmergency) February 12, 2014