All 100 counties are under a State of Emergency ahead of a forecast winter storm that is expected to hit North Carolina in the next 48 hours. Bladen County remains under a Winter Storm Watch beginning at 7 p.m. Friday and continuing until 7 p.m. Saturday.
According to Steve Pfaff with the National Weather Service Office in Wilmington, the event will begin as rain overnight Friday and with a changeover to a mix of wintry weather expected by daybreak Saturday far inland areas and later during Saturday morning for coastal areas.
“Very cold temperatures and single digit wind chill values (combination of wind and temperature) are expected Sunday morning and again during Monday morning,” said Pfaff.
Ice accumulations of <0.10” are possible across portions of forecast area Saturday. This freezing rain along with any snow/sleet accumulations farther inland will create hazardous travel conditions.
In a press briefing Friday morning Gov. Roy Cooper said the state is already preparing for its first winter storm. “Given our often unpredictable weather, I encourage North Carolinians to keep a close eye on the forecast during the next several days,” urged Governor Cooper. “This storm could bring several inches of snow to much of our state. Now is the time to update your emergency supply kits if you have not recently done so.”
While the storm is not expected to cause widespread power outages, public safety officials said this is a good time to review winter safety tips:
*Keep alternative heating sources prepared. If you have a fireplace, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood. Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them.
*Do not use charcoal grills or generators indoors; the fumes can be deadly.
*Turn off electrical appliances that were on when the power went off to avoid a power surge when the electricity is restored.
*Use flashlights. Do not use candles; they greatly increase the chance of having a fire in your home.
*Limit your activities to no more than two rooms and close off unneeded rooms.
*Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors and cover windows at night to keep cold air out and warm air in.
*If you have well water, fill up tubs and buckets with water so if the power goes out you still have water.
*Remember to eat and drink regularly. Food provides the body with energy to produce its own heat.
*Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration.
*Wear layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Layering clothes keeps you warmer than a single layer of heavy clothing. Remove layers to avoid overheating, perspiration and subsequent chill.
Updated weather and road conditions can be found via the ReadyNC mobile app or at readync.org.