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Emergency management crews gear up for winter storm

Tree service trucks line-up outside of Legion Stadium in Wilmington Thursday.
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 9:50 PM EST
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SOUTHEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA, N.C. (WECT) - Roads across North Carolina are brined for the second time in less than a week as another winter storm prepares to move through the area. In southeastern North Carolina, crews expect icy conditions on roadways and even falling trees and power outages.

Whiteville Emergency Services Director Hal Lowder says the quick turnaround means crews are ready to go.

“The good thing is we were already prepped,” Lowder said. “We had already filled up our generators, we had stocked up on diesel fuel gasoline and, so, all of our stores are full here, our reserves.”

This time around, icy conditions could make it difficult for emergency crews and first responders to travel. That’s why Lowder says they will be in position before the worst part of the storm hits.

“The difference is we’re bringing our people in early. We’re going to start staffing our EOC tonight at midnight and we’re bringing some people in early because it’s hard to come in. We don’t have magic tires,” said Lowder.

The chances are your tires are also no match for what could be iced-over and slippery roads. Officials encourage you to get where you need to go before the storm rolls in.

New Hanover County Emergency Manager Steven Still expects to see a lot of accidents if drivers are not careful. He says that is what happened during the last major ice storm in 2014.

“We had a considerable amount of traffic incidents for the 2014 event and we just want to make sure that our folks here know that we’re going to be looking at somewhat of a recurrence,” Still said. “Really, do not get out on the road at all.”

Still says one way to prepare for the storm is to have a safe plan since he expects there to be a considerable number of power outages.

“Make sure that your plan covers how to stay warm in an event like this and how to do it safely,” said Still. “We’ve certainly had issues in the past with people using combustible materials, using grills indoors — and that’s something that we urge residents not to do.”

To stay up-to-date with the latest forecast in your area, click here.

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