Gov. Cooper to Rescind State of Emergency Tomorrow
With the first winter storm of the season nearly over, Governor Roy Cooper and emergency management officials thanked North Carolinians for heeding safety warnings.
“Travel conditions have gotten much better, but we’re still concerned about ice and snow on some secondary roads through Tuesday morning,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. “Please be patient while the state thaws and take your time if you’re on the road.”
Gov. Cooper said the State of Emergency would expire at noon Tuesday once temperatures are expected to be well above freezing. The executive order was issued Jan. 6 for all 100 counties to allow authorities to move heavy equipment around the state to prepare for and respond to the storm.
Officials say the storm could have been worse, as final statistics indicate.
Power outages were fairly minimal with a peak of 30,200 to about 1,600 power outages Monday.
The State Highway Patrol responded to 1,650 accidents statewide and 3,617 calls for service from Friday evening through Monday morning.
Icy conditions Monday forced 63 (out of 115) school districts to close, while several others had delayed openings. From the far western mountains to the eastern coast of North Carolina, schools from Graham to Currituck County closed due to icy road conditions.
The state had two storm-related fatalities. A Surry County man died earlier today from prolonged exposure to the cold after he fell outside his home. The 85-year-old man became the second fatality of North Carolina’s winter storm. On Sunday, a woman died in Montgomery County when the car she was riding in crossed slid off the road and into a tree.
In Haywood County, two day-hikers who had lost their way in the Shining Rock Wilderness area were rescued on Sunday by search teams. Dozens of search and rescue technicians covered thousands of acres on foot Friday and Saturday looking for the lost pair. A State Highway Patrol helicopter with thermal infrared equipment located the hikers, and an N.C. Heloaquatic Rescue Team was able to use an N.C. National Guard helicopter to pull them off the mountain to safety.
“It takes excellent teamwork to help North Carolina get through storms like this one,” Cooper said. “Thanks to our law enforcement, first responders, emergency management and transportation crews who worked long hours to keep the state safe.”