Wide swaths of the Carolinas and parts of Georgia woke up to power outages Sunday morning as Winter Storm Diego continued to dump snow and ice across the Southeast.
As of 2 p.m. EST, nearly 250,000 customers had no electricity in North Carolina, over 95,000 were cut off in South Carolina, 17,000 in northeastern Georgia and more than 20,000 in Tennessee. About 24,000 customers lost power in Virginia as the storm continued to move to the northeast.
Hundreds of Sunday morning church services were canceled because of the ice and snow, and many districts announced schools would be closed on Monday.
More than 1,400 flights were canceled on Sunday, according to flightaware.com. Most of those were at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Gov. Roy Cooper earlier had warned residents that now is “the time to hunker down” and prepare for the worst of Winter Storm Diego, which dumped more than 10 inches of snow on Texas Saturday.
“This is a snowstorm, not a snow fall. It’s serious,” Gov. Cooper said Saturday during a press conference. “In the Piedmont to western parts of our state, we’re preparing for days of impact, not hours.”
Cooper’s warning came a day after he declared a state of emergency for all of North Carolina’s 100 counties. States of emergency have also been declared in Virginia and Oklahoma.
Interstate 26 was closed overnight in both directions at the steep Saluda Grade after several semitractor trailers got stuck in the roadway, North Carolina’s Department of Transportation said. The interstate reopened about 5:30 a.m.
This video was filmed by Luis Borges in Clemmons, NC a suburb of Winston-Salem:
At a news conference Sunday, Gov. Cooper said part of U.S. 70 was closed after a semitrailer truck ran off the road and into the Neuse River near Kinston.
Many other state and county roads were iced or snowed over in much of North Carolina.
Cooper said 11 shelters had been opened, most of them in the western part of the state.
Col. Glenn M. McNeill, commander of the State Highway Patrol, said troopers had responded to 509 collisions and 1,100 service calls since midnight Saturday.
Department of Transportation worked to keep roadways plowed and salted or sanded while other crews focused on removing fallen trees.
Freezing rain led to ice accumulating on bridges and overpasses near Clarksville, Tennessee, overnight.
Ice was the problem in the Upstate of South Carolina on Sunday morning.
Crews in Spartanburg County were on the road before the sun rose to begin repairing hundreds of downed power lines, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported.
Doug Bryson, the county emergency management coordinator, “It’s been nonstop for several hours now.”
Dozens of cars were stranded along roadways, the Highway Patrol said.
Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Saturday and urged residents to prepare for the possibility of a wintry mix of snow, sleet, ice and rain over parts of western, central and northern Virginia.
“Virginians should take all necessary precautions to ensure they are prepared for winter weather storm impacts,” said Northam. “I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure localities and communities have appropriate assistance and to coordinate state response to possible snow and ice accumulations, transportation issues, and potential power outages.”
The video was recorded by Dr. Vipin Gaur (Research Faculty @ Virginia Tech) on December 9, 2018, at the Whipple Drive, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA:
Northam noted that he has placed state agencies, including the Virginia Departments of Transportation and Emergency Management, and State Police, on alert.
More than 10 inches of snow fell on parts of Oklahoma overnight Friday into Saturday, leading to limited traffic issues.
Ahead of the storm, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for all 77 of the state’s counties.
Schools in Bentonville canceled all athletic and extra-curricular events scheduled for Saturday because of the possibility of icy conditions.
Winter storm Diego dumped at least 10.5 inches of snow on Lubbock, making it the second-snowiest December day on record in the Panhandle city.
“That gets relevant when you realize the historical, monthly record for Lubbock in December is 11 inches. That is significant,” Lubbock City Manager Jarrett Atkinson said.
The heavy snow contributed to some slide-offs and traffic issues, but the Lubbock Police Department said that “there were fewer traffic problems than expected.”
But the National Weather Service warned that the snow would refreeze overnight, leading to treacherous icy conditions on Sunday.
Before pushing east, heavy snow from Diego closed a stretch of Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley Thursday near the Tejon Pass, Caltrans tweeted.
The transportation department said cars were sliding on the roadways near the Lebec and Grapevine areas. I-5 is the main route between Southern and Northern California, and the shutdown was expected to cause backups for miles. Southbound lanes were reopened about 1:45 p.m., but the northbound lanes remained closed until after 3 p.m. because semitrailer trucks blocked the road near Castaic, Caltrans said.
A winter storm has caused chaos in parts California, bringing heavy rains to some areas and snow elsewhere:
Vehicles traveling on portions of Highway 18 and Highway 38 in the San Bernardino Mountains were required to have chains, Redlands Daily Facts reported.
In response to the storm, airlines Delta, United, American, Frontier and Southwest have offered to waive fees to customers traveling to or from impacted areas.
Amtrak canceled many trains that travel south of Washington D.C. because of the storm, including all tra
Another weather chaos, suggesting we are just in a little ice age!