Gov. Cooper issues state of emergency for NC’s frigid teen temperatures, ice

RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper has issued a State of Emergency as North Carolina will see temperatures dip into the teens this week during what many experts are calling an “arctic blast” beginning December 21st, 2022.

The arctic blast is expected to bring severe weather in the form of thunderstorms, ice, damaging winds, and low temperatures in the teens, according to the Governor.

“With the possibility of icy conditions in the western part of the state and below average temperatures expected as an arctic mass approaches… a State of Emergency [was signed] today to activate the state’s emergency operations plan, waive transportation regulations to help the transport of fuel and critical supplies, help first responders and protect consumers from price gouging,” Cooper’s office said.

Tuesday saw temperatures in the high 30s, with the low in the low 30s. But Wednesday will offer the first chance of severe weather with snow projected in the forecast.

Then, on Thursday, thunderstorms are possible with damaging winds and the transition to cold temperatures.

Those low temperatures will drop as far down as 17 degrees, and stay there Friday-Sunday. This brings the true threat of the arctic blast.

“Most areas will see overnight lows in the teens, with afternoon highs struggling to climb above freezing. Even colder temperatures are expected across the mountains. Due to the duration of cold temperatures, especially across western N.C., water in poorly insulated or open pipes may freeze,” Gov. Cooper’s office said.

Additionally, the strong wind gusts across multiple days has a chance to present downed trees, power outages, and wind chill values in the single digits across North Carolina.

To keep safe during winter weather, North Carolina Emergency Management advises residents and visitors to follow these tips:

  • Pay close attention to your local forecast and be prepared for what’s expected in your area;
  • Keep cell phones, mobile devices and spare batteries charged;
  • Use a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio or a weather alert app on your phone to receive emergency weather alerts;
  • Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing;
  • Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first-aid kit and road map;
  • Gather emergency supplies for your pet including leash and feeding supplies, enough food for several days and a pet travel carrier;
  • Do not leave pets outside for long periods of time during freezing weather; and
  • Look out for your friends, neighbors and the elderly during winter weather.

The official State of Emergency document can be read here.

If you are at risk of homelessness or are actively homeless due to registry conditions, please contact North Carolina Health and Human Services to locate appropriate assistance.

Dwayne Daughtry

Dwayne is NCRSOL's Executive Director.

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