CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency for parts of North Carolina and activated the emergency operations center ahead of the blast of winter weather.
Cooper announced Wednesday that resources are being shifted from the western part of the state to the eastern part where ice, snow, and bitter cold temperatures are expected to make travel treacherous and power outages possible.
"We expect that travel will be difficult and dangerous," Cooper said.
Cooper says the Department of Transportation, Highway Patrol, the National Guard and Emergency Management will be working in tandem in the coming hours so they can respond appropriately.
The State Highway Patrol stresses safety due to impending winter storm. pic.twitter.com/mPihULw1eE— NC Emergency Managem (@NCEmergency) January 3, 2018
The governor encouraged drivers in the Piedmont to stay off of the roads as much as possible Wednesday night to give Highway Patrol, DOT and emergency responders the space to monitor issues and react quickly.
"Remember that unnecessary travel not only puts you at risk but also can potentially put emergency responders and law enforcement at risk who have to respond to help you," Cooper said.
Cooper says drivers should expect potentially dangerous conditions for several days due to the extreme cold. Roads that have light snow or ice may re-freeze several times in the next few days, he warned.
DOT has had 800 employees on the roads performing anti-icing operations and spraying in preparation.
In Mecklenburg County, there were 10 contract trucks putting brine on the interstates Wednesday morning. That number grew to 20 trucks in the afternoon. DOT also had seven trucks prepping primary roads like N.C. 51, 49, South Boulevard and Tryon Street.
DOT spokesperson Jen Thompson says they will be in standby mode starting Wednesday night and will respond as the conditions require.
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