By Jesse Wood
Feb. 25, 2015. With a couple hours before the storm is expected to begin, RaysWeather.com posted on Facebook, “It’s clear from radar that this storm will not disappoint. Right now I have more ‘upside’ fear than ‘downside.’”
The latest forecast accumulation map from RaysWeather.com is calling for 5 to 7 inches in the vast majority of Avery and Watauga counties.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning that remains in effect from 7 p.m. on Wednesday and expires at 9 a.m. on Thursday.
Gov. Pat McCrory announced on Tuesday that the state is preparing for the “back-to-back” snow storm that already blanketed most of North Carolina, with 1 to 2 inches in the Triangle and Triad; 2 to 3 inches in Fayetteville and Sandhills areas; 3 to 6 inches in the foothills and mountains; and even up to 2 inches in the eastern part of the state.
McCrory noted that he will activate the State Emergency Operations Center today and is prepared to declare a state of emergency, waiving certain vehicle weight and serving hour requirements when needed.
State employees not essential to storm response or daily operations are allowed to remain home. In a release, the governor’s office noted that the State Highway Patrol responded to 2,060 calls in a matter of several hours early-to-mid Tuesday with 1,727 of those calls involving collisions.
“We urge motorists to stay off the roads adversely impacted by weather unless it is absolutely necessary to travel,” said Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. “Our state troopers are ready to assist stranded motorists as needed, but the best way to remain safe is to stay off the roads.”
NCDOT will monitor the conditions overnight and are currently salting, sanding and brining roads in advance of the pending storm.
“The safety of both motorists and our team members continues to be our top priority as we work to stay ahead of this storm and its impact to travel throughout the state,” Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said. “Our crews have worked hard today to address quickly changing weather and road conditions, and we urge travelers to use caution and avoid driving if possible as we continue our response efforts and prepare for the arrival of additional snow and ice.”