- Emergencies have been declared in Virginia and the Carolinas.
- Hundreds of flights have been cancelled.
- Most ferry routes are closed in North Carolina.
Schools are closed from parts of Texas to the Florida Panhandle in Virginia, emergencies have been declared in at least three states and freezing rain and snow are reported in several areas as a winter storm moves in, some just days after ice and snow caused widespread outages and travel issues in some of the same states.
(PROVIDE: Snow, sleet and freezing rain expected from south to mid Atlantic)
Here’s the latest on what’s happening in areas affected by the storm, which has been named Winter Storm Jasper by The Weather Channel.
Freezing rain in Alabama
Light Freezing Rain was reported Friday morning around Mobile and other parts of Alabama. Mobile’s National Weather Service said temperatures would likely struggle to reach 40 degrees.
Suspended ferry service
As of 11 a.m. EST, the following North Carolina ferry routes are close due to wind and hazardous weather conditions: Cherry Branch in Minnesott Beach, Bayview in Aurora, Cedar Island in Ocracoke, Swan Quarter in Ocracoke, Hatteras in Ocracoke and Currituck in Knotts Island.
Hundreds of flights canceled
More than 400 flights have been canceled at airports including Charlotte, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; and Richmond, Virginia, according to airline tracker FlightAware.
New Orleans activates freeze plan
All the city frost plane is in effect on Friday and Saturday evenings to ensure that shelters are available for those in need. More information is available by calling (504) 821-2222.
Crews work to keep the Outer Banks Highway clear
The sand is blowing on North Carolina Highway 12 at several locations and officials said ocean overflow and sound side flooding were possible through Sunday.
A traffic camera in Dare County showed heavy equipment removing sand from the road.
“Stay home if you can, but if you must go out, drive with extreme caution,” the North Carolina Department of Transportation tweeted.
Prepare for another ice storm, snow in the east
The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia each declared states of emergency ahead of the storm system, less than a week after winter storm Izzy brought snow, ice, wind and widespread power outages in the area.
The storm was expected to blow as mixed precipitation on Thursday, followed by a round of snow Friday evening through Saturday. The winter blast could freeze much of eastern North Carolina and the northeast corner of South Carolina while dumping snow around Norfolk, Va., according to the National Weather Service.
“I urge all Virginians to monitor their local weather forecasts and take safety precautions to keep them and their families safe,” Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin said Thursday in a statement calling on Virginians to stay off the road in unsafe conditions.
Transit systems in southeast Virginia, including Norfolk, will close early Friday evening due to forecast weather conditions. This will include trains and the Elizabeth Island ferry. Several schools, universities and government offices will also close in southeast Virginia.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday that 114 National Guard troops were moving through the central and eastern parts of the state to prepare to move to affected areas. Cooper said the ice accumulations could cause prolonged power outages and urged people to watch out for their neighbors as lows dip below freezing in the coming days.
“We’re a bit more concerned about this one because it’s going to be so cold on Friday and Saturday night, and if there are power outages, then we’re concerned about maybe some families who can’t stay. warm,” he told reporters, according to The Associated Press.
Several schools across the state have canceled co-curricular and extracurricular activities.
In South Carolina, schools and government offices around Charleston and other places that don’t typically see much frozen precipitation closed or announced shortened hours on Friday. Freezing rain, sleet and snow were expected to begin spreading across the state at sunrise. And utilities in the northeast of the state warned that major power outages were possible.
Shelters open, schools closed from South Texas to West Florida
With freezing rain and sleet already falling, temperatures are expected to dip Thursday evening through early Friday in southern Texas.
Several heated shelters have been opened in Bexar County, Texas, where San Antonio is the county seat, due to the expected hard freeze, according to KSAT. Similar shelters were opening in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott opened the State Operations Center Wednesday before winter time.
School systems that closed or went virtual on Friday included those in Escambia County, Florida; Baldwin County, Alabama; and George and Stone counties in Mississippi. Classes are expected to resume on Monday.
Freezing and snowy forecasts in the East
This storm will bring its impacts further east in the Carolinas than the impacts of Winter Storm Izzy earlier this week.
A slow moving cold front will move south across the Carolinas and the Gulf Coast on Friday with abundant cold air in the Carolinas. Freezing rain is expected to cause damage in the coastal Carolinas through Friday evening, while up to 8 inches of snow is possible from northern South Carolina northeastward to southeast Virginia. The worst of the snow is expected in eastern North Carolina.
A light freezing drizzle is possible from southern Texas to the northern Gulf Coast. Not much ice accumulation is expected, but bridges and overpasses could become icy.
Nighttime temperatures will drop into the 20s across much of the East, including the Carolinas and Virginia this weekend.
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