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Governor Cooper urges people to prepare for power outages from winter storm

Governor Cooper wants people to prepare ahead of the storm
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 7:18 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - North Carolina is under a state of emergency ahead of the winter storm expected Friday.

As cities, counties, power companies, and other crews prepare for the mix of freezing rain and ice, the state has taken steps to help make the response and recovery quicker once the worst weather hits.

In a news conference Thursday, Governor Cooper said state emergency management is expecting power outages across the southeastern part of the state — from ice on power lines to downed trees.

While Department of Transport (DOT) crews have put brine down on roads across the eastern part of the state to help keep them from freezing, the governor has put more than one hundred members of the national guard on stand-by to help where they are needed.

Duke Energy plans to stage power crews in Wilmington to be ready to respond to any downed lines and restore power as quickly as possible.

The governor stressed that those preparations are important. He said it’s vital for families to prepare, much like they would ahead of a tropical storm or hurricane.

“Now is the time to get ready if you’re in the forecast zone — before tonight,” said Cooper. “Get groceries and essentials you’ll need for the next few days. Make sure you’re prepared in case your power goes out. Pay close attention to your local forecast, and make sure you know the expected conditions in your area.”

The DOT Secretary Eric Boyette said during that news conference that the DOT is seeing staffing shortages because of COVID-19 cases, so the crews might not be able to respond and clear roads as quickly as they have in the past.

But he stressed they will be responding as quickly as they can to the hardest hit areas along the coast.

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