Tri-County braces for winter storm

Feb. 12, 2014 @ 12:41 PM

A winter storm forecasted to bring significant accumulations of snow and ice will likely hit the Tri-County area this afternoon.

Forecast models are predicting snow will begin around 1 p.m. and continue through the night before changing over to a mix of sleet and freezing rain. It will likely change back to snow before ending sometime Thursday.

Snowfall totals are forecast to be between 4 to 6 inches, with 6 inches very likely, and ice accumulations between one-quarter and one-half inch. Travel is expected to be difficult, and power outages are likely.

Vance County Emergency Services is ready to open a single, centralized shelter should there be widespread, ongoing power outages. The shelter is wired to work off generator power and provide heat. EMS director Brian Short said the shelter will only be opened should there be widespread power outages lasting more than a day. If not, the county’s preferred policy, shelter in place — meaning stay in your home — will be in effect.

Short also said people should stay off the roads unless they absolutely must drive. If that’s the case, they should use vehicles that are suited to driving in snow and ice. Drivers should also be alert for pedestrians.

A local state of emergency is scheduled to be declared at 2 p.m. today.

Do not call 911 to report power outages, Short said. People needing to report a loss of power should contact their utility.