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UPDATE: Snow totals, power outages, black ice warning

They got this one right.

Arriving on schedule around 1 a.m. Sunday, winter storm Izzy socked the area with a deepening blanket of snow on Sunday as the state and local officials declared a state of emergency and Duke Energy warned of widespread outages. By daybreak, the storm had dumped around 6 inches of snow in southern Henderson County with more expected throughout the day and at 9 a.m. totals reached 8 inches. In a winter storm warning in effect through 8 a.m. Monday, the National Weather Service warned that travel would be extremely hazardous or impossible.

Sunday afternoon, National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Outlaw said the precipitation should turn from a sleet and freezing rain back to llight snow about 4 p.m. before the storm moves out completely around 9-10 p.m. It will leave behind freezing temperatures overnight and little chance of a thaw before Tuesday. Highs Monday should only reach about freezing and lows Monday night will plunge.

"Any leftover moisture will certainly refreeze Monday night with temperatures getting extremely cold down into the teens," Outlaw said.

Among snow totals reported to the NWS were 11 inches in Laurel Park and Brevard, 8 inches in Sapphire, 8 inches in Tryon, 10 inches in  Hendersonville, 10 inches in Zirconia, 9½ inches 4 miles northwest of Hendersonville, 8.1 inches in Candler; 6 inches in Arden, 5 inches in Leicester and 9 inches in Cashiers.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, Duke Energy reported a total of 111,595 power outages in the Carolinas including 851 in Henderson County, 4,040 in Buncombe, 24 in Polk and 59 in Transylvania.

Henderson County's emergency services director, Jimmy Brissie, said Sunday morning that dispatchers had received calls from stranded motorists and said people should avoid traveling.

"I-26 is challenging but vehicles are moving," he said. "The last forecast I saw had it transitioning over to sleet and freezing rain and then turn back back into snow" around sunset. "When I looked at the radar it looked like a lot of the moisture had passed but they're still calling for more accumulation."

Pardee UNC Health Care and Mission Health announced Sunday morning that their urgent care clinics were closed.

Henderson County, Hendersonville and Laurel Park all declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm.

“We encourage residents to stay inside and limit any non-essential travel," County Manager John Mitchell said. "Emergency Services and law enforcement personnel, along with state and municipal road crews, will be bearing a heavy burden to keep up with public safety demands and keep the roads as clear as possible. Staying inside, off the roads unless it’s an emergency, helps put them in the best possible position to reach our neighbors who need their assistance."

For emergency information, please call (828) 697-4728 or log onto and click on View Emergency Information.

The National Weather Forecast projected accumulations of 2 to 7 inches across mountain valleys with 8 to 12
inches along and near the Blue Ridge Escarpment, and 12 to 20 inches above 4,000 feet. Wind gusts up to 45 mph along with snow coated trees and power lines could cause widespread power outages. Sleet, freezing rain, ice and some snow was expected in the Piedmont. The eastern part of the state will see mostly freezing rain and rain, with the possibility of some flash flooding.

“Regardless of where you live, pay close attention to your local weather forecast to get prepared and to know whether it’s too dangerous to go out,” Gov. Roy Cooper said as thr storm approached. “Today, make sure you have groceries, medications and other essentials like water, batteries and pet food that you’ll need for the next few days. Staying at home and off the roads on Sunday and Monday if you can will be the best way to stay safe and to help road and utility crews do their work.”

N.C. Department of Transportation workers brined roads ahead of the storm. However, transportation officials recommended staying off the roads once travel conditions begin to deteriorate. NCDOT crews and contractors will work to clear roads as fast as possible, but response times are expected to be slower than usual due to labor shortages impacting crews around the state.

If you must travel during bad weather, State Highway Patrol officials remind motorists to reduce speed, leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles, and clear all ice or snow from your vehicle before traveling. If you become stranded, pull off the highway, remain in your vehicle, and call for help. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you can take shelter.

Cooper signed a state of emergency Thursday to activate state resources to respond to the storm and to allow for the possibility of federal reimbursement if the event qualifies. He also activated about 200 National Guard personnel who will be located in western and central counties to help with transportation-related issues. They will have utility vehicles, trucks and 4-wheel drive ambulances that can move through the snow. National Guard and DOT teams are also staging at winter trouble spots on interstates to help keep traffic moving.

Utility companies are preparing for significant power outages by bringing in extra crews, including many from other states. Power outages start to become widespread when a quarter-inch of ice accumulates on power lines, and the forecast calls for icing to exceed that amount in some areas.

To prepare for winter weather, North Carolina Emergency Management officials recommend these tips:

  • Always keep at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food and a supply of medication in your home.
  • Keep cell phones and mobile devices charged in case of power outages.
  • Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.
  • Dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.
  • Properly vent kerosene heaters and ensure generators are operated outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Never burn charcoal indoors or use a gas grill indoors.
  • Use a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio or a weather alert app on your phone to receive emergency weather alerts.
  • Store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first-aid kit and road map.
  • Make an emergency supplies kit for your pet and include medical records, leash and feeding supplies, enough food and for several days and pet travel carrier.
  • Do not leave pets outside for long periods of time during freezing weather.