North Carolina residents were bracing Wednesday for what forecasters were warning will be a serious winter storm that will cover much of the state in snow, sleet and ice.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for Wednesday and into Thursday covering 95 of the state's 100 counties.
Up to 10 inches is possible in the Asheville area, where heavy snow has already begun to fall. Up to 11 inches of snow is possible around Charlotte, with as much as 10 inches in the Greensboro and Winston-Salem areas. As much as 6 inches of snow could fall around Raleigh.
Only an inch or so of accumulation is expected in the eastern part of the state, but much of that could be ice.
Authorities said a woman died in a weather-related traffic accident in Moore County when a car in which she was a passenger struck a tree. A State Highway Patrol trooper was hospitalized after his parked cruiser was struck by another car.
Gov. Pat McCrory signed orders in advance of the storm declaring an emergency, freeing state resources to react. The governor urged residents to prepare for power outages by plugging in cellphones and finding batteries for radios and flashlights.
McCrory also urged people to get home and stay off roads predicted to become ice-covered and slick, saying he planned to skip tonight's basketball showdown between Duke and North Carolina.
"Stay smart. Don't put your stupid hat on at this point in time. Protect yourself. Protect your family. Protect your neighbors," McCrory said.
Transportation workers in North Carolina report no major problems on the state roads as snow, sleet and freezing rain is reported in the state.
The transportation department said early Wednesday no serious problems have been reported. The agency does say icy patches are possible on Interstates 95 and 40 in eastern North Carolina.
Electrical providers reported about 2,000 customers without service Wednesday morning, but Duke Energy indicated that most of those did not appear related to the winter storm.
Duke spokeswoman Meghan Musgrave says the utility has about 3,400 field workers on the ground in North Carolina and South Carolina, including 500 who have arrived from out of state. Those workers are staying in Greensboro and Florence until Duke determines where they're needed because those are centrally located cities.
The workers from Florida are staying in South Carolina, while people from the Midwest will help in North Carolina. Duke has about 715,000 customers in South Carolina and about 3.2 million in North Carolina.
Saturday, April 12 2014 6:07 AM EDT2014-04-12 10:07:09 GMT
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Question, comment or news tip? Our desk is happy to take your call and direct you to the appropriate department. Our station phone number is:919-836-1717 Our address is:1205 Front St. Raleigh, N.C. More >>
Question, comment or news tip? The WNCN main desk is happy to take your call and direct you to the appropriate department. Our station phone number is:919-836-1717 Our address is:1205 Front St. Raleigh, N.C. More >>