Unusual ice and snow storm hits the Carolinas and Virginia

A storm brought ice, snow and freezing rain across the Carolinas and parts of Virginia Friday evening and early Saturday, making travel ...

A storm brought ice, snow and freezing rain across the Carolinas and parts of Virginia Friday evening and early Saturday, making travel hazardous after about a quarter inch of ice piled up on roads in a region that is not used to such wintry weather.

“Anytime you get a storm like this in areas that don’t usually get it, the impact is pretty high,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Oravec.

The average annual snowfall in Columbia, SC, is 1.2 inches; this weekend he got about four inches.

The storm – which also brought about six inches of snow to southeastern Virginia and up to eight inches to parts of northeastern North Carolina – moved quickly through the region.

During the night, the storm caused some scares. Around 9 p.m., at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, a Delta flight skidded off a runway and “rolled through mud.” depending on the airport. No injuries were reported.

The State Highway Patrol in North Carolina said soldiers responded to over 900 accident reports caused by the storm and hundreds more calls of people “sliding off the road and getting stuck”.

The governors of the three affected states had declared a state of emergency and urged residents on Saturday to stay off the roads.

Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina, whose state has been hit by a powerful winter storm earlier in the week, said Saturday that “the best way to stay safe is to stay home unless you absolutely have to travel.”

The Department of Transportation joined him in these warnings on Twitter, but in the form of a rap: “DOT doesn’t take this lightly, we are in effect every day and every night.”

Duke Energy, a power company, noted it was restoring power to about 10,000 customers in the Carolinas, mostly in coastal areas, which received a rare dose of freezing rain. Mr Cooper said around 4,000 customers were still without power on Saturday morning.

Several school systems in the three states canceled classes on Friday.

Snow accumulation in southern South Carolina “is not unheard of, but certainly not something that happens every year,” Oravec said.

Some celebrated this rarity on Friday evening.

On the University of South Carolina campus at Columbia, freshman Elliott Bell had been watching the weather all week, eager to see if the predicted snow would arrive.

Mr. Bell, who grew up in Atlanta, was used to the slushy, wet snow common in the South, the kind unsuitable for snowball fights. But on Friday night Mr Bell, 19, came out and heard the satisfying sound of snow crunching under his shoes.

The weather app had been correct.

As well as being a “rare occasion”, Mr Bell said, the snow was just “awesome”.

As of 1 p.m. Saturday, the storm was moving offshore toward the Atlantic Ocean and no further snowfall was expected, the weather service said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Unusual ice and snow storm hits the Carolinas and Virginia
Unusual ice and snow storm hits the Carolinas and Virginia
Newsrust - US Top News
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