CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Governor Roy Cooper urged North Carolina residents to stay home on Saturday and stay safe, as most roads remain covered in ice and snow and thousands of residents are without power.
“If you’re in the affected areas, the best way to stay safe is to stay home unless you absolutely have to travel,” Governor Cooper said.
Cooper says although state and local crews have been out in force clearing roads, temperatures are expected to remain below or near freezing, creating the possible of refreezing Saturday night into Sunday morning.
If you must travel, troopers advise drivers to reduce their speed significantly and to maintain distance from other vehicles.
Highway Patrol troopers report responding to more than 1,500 calls for service and 945 collisions in affected areas of North Carolina since Friday evening.
Troopers say a majority of the calls were in reference to vehicles sliding off the roadway and becoming stuck or single-vehicle collisions.
Highway Patrol is also asking pedestrians to be cautious while traveling on foot as sidewalks, parking lots, and hard surfaces remain extremely slippery.
Cooper says nearly 16,000 power outages were reported by 4 a.m. Saturday, mostly in coastal counties, and utility crews are working hard to restore power.
State Emergency Management officials recommend these safety tips if your power goes out:
- Report power outages to your electric utility company. Refrain from calling 911, except for life safety emergencies.
- Keep cell phones and mobile devices charged in case your power goes out.
- Operate generators outdoors and away from doors and windows – never in your home or garage, deadly carbon monoxide fumes can accumulate.
- Never burn charcoal indoors or use a gas grill indoors.
- Use battery-powered sources for light, not candles.
- Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. Adding ice or snow from outside can help keep contents cold.