Governor Cooper Urging Residents to Prepare For Artic Blast This Week

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Governor Cooper urges residents to follow their local weather forecast and be prepared for another round of sub-freezing temperatures and winter weather over the next few days – and to exercise caution on the roads in areas were wintry precipitation falls.

“North Carolina is bracing for more cold and snowy weather, and I urge people to monitor their local forecasts closely and take proactive steps to stay ready, warm, and safe,” said Gov. Cooper.

A strong cold front will move across the state Tuesday bringing accumulating snow to portions of western North Carolina. Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings are in effect beginning at 4AM Tuesday for much of the North Carolina mountains. The greatest snow accumulations and impacts will be in western areas above 3,500 feet during the day Tuesday, where 3-8” of snow is possible. Lower elevations of the North Carolina mountains are expected to see 1-3” of snow. Accumulating snow and breezy winds will lead to hazardous driving conditions across portions of western NC Tuesday and Tuesday night. Wind chill values well below zero are likely across the mountains Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

In central and eastern parts of the state, significant snow accumulation is not likely as just a dusting of snow is expected late Tuesday evening, primarily on grassy surfaces. As temperatures fall below freezing Tuesday night, isolated slick spots could develop by Wednesday morning in locations where pavement remains wet. Wind chill values will be in the teens Wednesday morning and in the single digits Thursday morning across northern portions of central and eastern NC.

North Carolina Department of Transportation crews in the western mountains are preparing for snow, with brining under way along the I-40 corridor and other primary routes. In areas of the state where rain is initially expected, crews will be ready Tuesday night with salt and a sand/salt mix to handle slick spots as the temperature drops below freezing. Where the rain will come later in the day and closer to the dropping temperature, such as in the Triangle, brining is also under way on major roadways, bridges and ramps, and crews will be in overnight to handle any icy spots that develop.

North Carolina Emergency Management and the State Highway Patrol are monitoring the forecast and conditions across the state, and stand ready to respond as needed.

With the extremely cold temperatures, the Department of Health and Human Services offers these tips for staying safe and healthy during cold weather:

• Wear warm, dry clothing and make sure body parts most often affected by frostbite are covered (nose, ears, toes, cheeks, chin, fingers)
• Limit time outside during cold temperatures and seek shelter in a warm, dry place
• Check on others who might be at risk for cold weather-related illness
• Seek care if hypothermia or frostbite is suspected
• Install a carbon monoxide alarm with an Underwriters Laboratory UL™ listing on each level of your home and near all sleeping areas to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas
• Never use generators indoors, in the basement, inside the garage, or near open windows or the air intake of your house because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Never use charcoal grills or propane stoves indoors, even in a fireplace
• Never use a gas oven to heat a home, even for a short amount of time
• Carefully follow the directions to ensure proper alarm placement and check the batteries regularly
• Replace alarms more than seven years old or when end-of-service indicator chirps
• Evacuate and call 911 if a carbon monoxide alarm sounds

To keep your animals safe, be sure to:

• Ensure your pet has a well-fitting collar, updated identification and contact information.
• Bring pets inside when temperatures drop below freezing. Like people, pets are susceptible to frostbite, hypothermia, dehydration and other medical conditions.
• Check underneath your warming car for roaming animals like cats.
• Shorten your dog’s walks and check paws for signs of cold-weather injury. After walks, wipe down your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove any chemicals (antifreeze).
• Pets should be monitored around wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and space heaters. These can cause severe burns.
• Move livestock and other animals into sheltered locations with sufficient food and water.

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