CONCORD, N.C. — Counties across the Carolinas were bracing for a major storm this weekend, anticipating snow, freezing rain, and ice in the area.
It is all hands on deck, from emergency management teams to keep everyone safe.
Governor Roy Cooper held a press conference Saturday morning with more on the winter preparations.
“Our forecasters expect significant impacts across our state,” he said.
Cooper has declared a state of emergency and activated 200 national guard soldiers to help in storm response.
“They're equipped with emergency response vehicles that can move through the snow, such as Humvees and four-wheel drive. Ambulances will stage national guard and department of transportation teams at trouble spots on our interstates,” he noted.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation had crews out in full force Friday pretreating roads. Jen Thompson, a spokesperson for NCDOT, says they have about 400 trucks staged and ready for the next phase in the storm response.
“So, we have plows now attached to products, we have spreaders attached in case we need to put out any salt or sand for traction,” she said.
Randy Wheeless with Duke Energy said they have about 250 trucks and more than 10,000 workers all on standby.
“When we look back at historical storms, we think the current conditions can lead to 750,000 customers without power,” he said on Saturday.
Duke Energy has power line technicians, damage assessors and vegetation workers staged across counties. They will assess the damages once the storm hits and will get power restored as quickly as possible where needed.
Wheeless had one reminder for everyone he wanted to underscore.
“If they see a downed power line somewhere just leave it alone it maybe not be energized but many times it is and we don’t want any tragedies to happen," he said.
Emergency managers are also coordinating with county governments to make sure they have warming centers and shelters as needed.
People are encouraged to stay home. Make sure to have food, medication, flashlights, batteries, and items necessary for the next few days to avoid traveling once the storm hits.