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May 28, 2022

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The Carolinas and Virginia brace for blast of ice, snow

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Virginia Beach, Va., Public Works crews prepare Thursday morning for snow from an impending winter storm. (Photos by Stephen M.
Virginia Beach, Va., Public Works crews prepare Thursday morning for snow from an impending winter storm. (Photos by Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot) Photo Gallery

NORFOLK, Va. — The Carolinas and Virginia were bracing for more winter weather on Thursday, with officials urging drivers to stay off potentially icy roads and schools canceling classes in coastal areas that don’t frequently see frozen precipitation.

The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia each declared states of emergency ahead of the storm that was forecast to blow in as mixed precipitation Thursday, followed by a round of snow on tonight into Saturday. The winter blast could ice over a large swath of eastern North Carolina and the northeastern corner of South Carolina, while dumping snow around Norfolk, Va., according to the National Weather Service.

The forecast prompted Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin to declare a state of emergency that will remain in effect through Saturday. His order allows the state greater flexibility in mobilizing people and resources to prepare and respond.

“I urge all Virginians to monitor their local weather forecasts and take personal safety precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of their families,” Youngkin said in a statement that called on Virginians to stay off the road during hazardous conditions.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed a state of emergency Wednesday ahead of the storm, the second to hit the state in a week. He said Thursday that 114 National Guard troops were staging in central and eastern North Carolina to prepare to move to the affected areas. He said ice accumulations could cause extended power outages and urged people to look out for their neighbors as lows dip below freezing in the coming days.

“We’re a little more concerned about this one because it’s going to be so cold Friday and Saturday night, and if there are power outages, then we are concerned about maybe some families who can’t stay warm,” he told reporters.

In South Carolina, where Gov. Henry McMaster also declared a state of emergency, schools and government offices around Charleston and other places that don’t see much frozen precipitation closed or announced shortened hours today. Freezing rain, sleet and snow were expected to start spreading across the state around sunrise. And utilities in the northeastern part of the state warned major power outages were possible.

An ice storm warning was issued in northeastern South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina.

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