The Latest: Storm dumps heavy snow in West Virginia
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the effects of a wintry storm crossing the U.S. Southeast (all times local):
Residents of southern West Virginia are digging out from a storm that dumped up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) of snow.
Forecasters had been uncertain about the storm’s track and many residents were caught off guard by the high snow amounts. Forecasts initially had the storm avoiding most of the state and moving across the Southeast.
Instead, the National Weather Service says the state became part of the storm’s northern edge. More than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow fell across the far southern areas of the state. Schools were closed in at least 10 counties Monday. In places about an hour to the north such as Charleston and Huntington, no snow fell.
Authorities in North Carolina are reporting a third snowstorm-related death after a truck driver died while working to free his rig that got stuck on an interstate.
Yadkin County Emergency Services Director Keith Vestal says the driver had gotten stuck along Interstate 77 during the height of the storm Sunday and was shoveling out. Vestal said that shortly after shoveling, the man experienced chest pains and was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. Vestal said the death appears to be due to a heart attack and he considers it a storm-related death.
The state emergency operations center attributes two other deaths to the storm. One man died Sunday when a tree fell on him in Mecklenburg County, while an ailing woman died in Haywood County when her oxygen was cut off due to power outages.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the worst of the wintery storm has passed most of the state but residents — particularly motorists — should keep watch for dangerous conditions.
Cooper said at a news conference Monday that snow and ice that fell since the weekend could result in slick road conditions Tuesday morning as temperatures fall and moisture refreezes.
The state emergency operations center attributes two deaths to the storm. One man died Sunday when a tree fell on him in Mecklenburg County, while an ailing woman died in Haywood County when her oxygen was cut off due to power outages.
The governor says 144,000 utilities customers were still without power.
A lingering storm keeps dumping immobilizing snow, sleet or freezing rain across five southern states, leaving dangerously icy roads and hundreds of thousands of people without electricity. Authorities urged people to stay home on Monday in areas where driving is dangerous.
Accidents on snow-covered interstates caused major delays on Sunday, hundreds of flights were canceled and drivers in North Carolina and Virginia got stuck in snow or lost control on icy patches. But the commuters’ nightmare provided pre-winter thrills for kids and the young at heart, who were able to go sledding and build snowmen in places that don’t often see so much of the white stuff.
The National Weather Service said a “prolonged period of snow” began late Saturday and would last until Monday in the region, with the heaviest snow in northwest North Carolina and southern Virginia. Some areas of North Carolina and Virginia saw more than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow by Sunday afternoon.