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'People are safest if they stay home' | Rural counties in the Carolinas bracing for impacts of weekend winter storm

Ice storm warnings have been issued in parts of North and South Carolina

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. — On Friday, South Carolina's Governor Henry McMaster issued a State of Emergency ahead of this weekend's winter storm that could bring hazardous road conditions and ice storms to some of the state. 

RELATED: SC governor declares state of emergency ahead of winter storm

In Lancaster County, Emergency Management Director Darren Player said there could be a quarter of an inch of ice combined with winds -- which is enough to take down power lines, trees, and create dangerous conditions on the roads. 

“If this storm verifies, it could probably be the worst weather event this county has experienced in 10 years or more," Player said. 

"South Carolina will be impacted by a major winter storm this weekend, likely beginning Sunday morning," McMaster said. "There is a potential for very dangerous conditions caused by accumulations of ice and snow, which will likely result in power outages across the state. I urge South Carolinians to monitor their local weather forecasts and begin taking safety precautions. We will hold a media briefing tomorrow afternoon to update residents with the latest information on this winter storm.”

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Player said outages could last for days, as crews won't be able to make go up and make repairs in bucket trucks until winds subside.

“If the store verifies, and comes in as they forecast," Player said, "We will probably still have power outages next week, this time.”

In South Carolina, the National Weather Service forecast predicts significant snow, sleet, and ice starting early Sunday morning, impacting much of the Upstate and Midlands.

RELATED: These counties are at greater risk of ice during weekend winter storm

“The Governor’s Executive Order puts our plans into motion and let’s state agencies best coordinate any resources that may be needed in the days ahead," SCEMD Director Kim Stenson said. "We have experienced ice storms before, and we’re as prepared as we can be to respond to any requests for aid from our local emergency managers. It is vital for people to meet us halfway in this effort by being personally prepared for this winter storm.”

From South Carolina to North Carolina, emergency workers are asking people to avoid driving.

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“The roads are going to be treacherous," Karyn Yaussy with Catawba County Emergency Management said. "People are safest if they stay home."

Another concern for health officials in more rural regions – fires and carbon monoxide poisoning as people search for alternative ways to stay warm.

Yaussy said people should avoid taking a gas grill or charcoal grill inside of homes.  She also said people should have working carbon monoxide alarms.

“Those things can cause the deadly gas to be in their home and not know it," Yaussy said.

Contact Indira Eskieva at ieskieva@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.