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Storm prep: Residents brace for snow — again

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Kenyon Bailey Landscaping employee Eddie Poole puts down a salt de-icing compound along the sidewalk in front of FireHouse Subs in Elizabeth City in preparation for a predicted snowstorm, Wednesday.

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

With 2-4 inches of snow predicted to blanket the region Wednesday night, Mark Brown wanted to be ready for Thursday morning.

The Elizabeth City bought a package of salt Wednesday at Lowe’s to spread on his driveway.

Brown explained that the snowstorm two weeks ago convinced him to buy the salt. He didn’t buy any de-icing agent prior to the snowstorm and, as a result, couldn’t get his pickup truck out of his driveway without shoveling snow. He said he didn’t make it out of his driveway for a day and a half.

“That’s why I’m buying salt now,” Brown said. “I didn’t do it last time. I had to shovel that stuff.”

Brown said his pickup truck was blocked in by a three-foot snow drift during the last storm.

“I’m getting ready for this one here,” Brown said.

According to the National Weather Service, northeastern North Carolina will be under a winter weather advisory until 3 a.m. Thursday. Snow, mixed with rain, was expected to fall before 1 a.m. Thursday, followed by snow between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Total snow accumulation of between 1 and 2 inches was expected, with some areas seeing 3 inches.

Thursday’s forecast calls for sunshine, with a high near 39 — warm enough to melt any lingering snow or ice. Before then, however, authorities were cautioning that road conditions would be slippery, particularly for morning commuters.      

Gov. Roy Cooper in a press release Wednesday urged motorists to stay off the roads as much as possible.

"This snowstorm may be moving a little slower than we thought, but that means its impacts on North Carolina will likely be even greater," Cooper said in the press release. "The snow is pretty, but it can be dangerous. If you don't have to brave the roads, please don't."

Nina Leslie White of Elizabeth City came out to the Food Lion on Ehringhaus Road early Wednesday afternoon to pick up a few items she needed, including bread and juice. White said she stayed home for days during the blizzard a couple of weeks ago, but decided to come out Wednesday to make some preparations for the coming of more snow.

Rickita Ferebee of Elizabeth City said she wasn’t going to worry about the weather.

“I just let it happen,” Ferebee said, shrugging.

Ferebee came to the grocery store to do some regular shopping and said she wasn’t planning specifically for snow.

But she said she missed work — “a whole lot of days” — during the previous storm and hopes not to have to miss work this time.

“I hope it’s not too bad,” Ferebee said.

N.C. Department of Transportation crews were able to prep the major roads across the state over the past two days, putting down more than two million gallons of salt brine. Most counties brought crews in overnight and are able to plow major roads as soon as snow accumulates about an inch, according to the governor’s office.

State officials are encouraging residents to follow N.C. Emergency Management and DOT on Facebook and Twitter for the latest storm updates. Real-time weather and road conditions, as well as winter safety tips, can be found on the free ReadyNC mobile app or online at readync.org.

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