Prepare for Winter Storm Izzy, state officials say

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People in the Sandhills are bracing for a mix of winter weather Sunday as Winter Storm Izzy sweeps up the eastern United States.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh was calling for snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain through central and eastern North Carolina in Friday’s forecast for Sunday. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for Harnett and Cumberland counties from Saturday night through Sunday night.

As of 1 p.m. Friday, the National Weather Service was predicting less than an inch of snow for Harnett, Johnston, Sampson and Cumberland counties through 7 a.m. Monday. The area could receive between a tenth- to a quarter-of-an-inch in ice accumulation, prompting Duke Energy to email customers about potential power outages.

“With snow, sleet and freezing rain expected in the Carolinas this weekend, Duke Energy is ready to respond to possible power outages,” Marty Clayton, Duke Energy’s government and community relations liaison, said in a release Friday. “As Duke Energy’s team of meteorologists continues to monitor the storm’s development, our crews are making preparations to safely handle weather-related service interruptions.”

Customers experiencing power outages are reminded to call 1-800-POWERON (1-800-769-3766) or text OUT to 57801 to report any outages. Visit www.duke-energy.com/outages to view current outages and expected restorations.

The N.C. Department of Transportation is urging motorists to stay off of the roadways after the storm hits.

“In the Sandhills area and central North Carolina, more than 186 employees started brining roads Thursday and will finish up Friday,” stated a release from NCDOT. “Crews in the Raleigh area started applying brine Thursday and plan to apply about 160,000 gallons of brine to the area’s 3,600 lane miles of roads.”

“Brine, a cost-efficient mixture of salt and water, lowers the freezing temperatures on pavement and helps prevent ice from forming on roads,” according to the release.

“Our crews and contractors are doing all we can to get ready for this storm and we ask North Carolinians to prepare as well,” said J. Eric Boyette, state transportation secretary. “Please make sure to plan ahead because this storm could impact travel around the state.”

Areas north of Harnett County could see 1 to 2 inches of snow and up to a quarter-of-an-inch of ice, according to the NWS Raleigh weather update at 1 p.m. Friday.

Visit weather.gov/rah/ for the latest updates on Winter Storm Izzy.

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