CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A paralyzingdumped up to two feet of snow and claimed the lives of at least two people. More than 327,000 homes and businesses lost power in six states, with most of the outages in North Carolina.
Highways turned into ice rinks as treacherous conditions sent cars sliding across Raleigh. The powerful storm also whipped across Virginia and South Carolina.
The early blast of winter nearly shattered records across the region. Richmond, Virginia, received more than 11 inches of snow, the most in over 100 years. South Carolina saw its average annual snowfall in just one day. In North Carolina, Durham saw 14 inches of snow, while parts of Raleigh and Chapel Hill collected up to eight inches.
The weather caused more than 500 accidents, with over 1,000 calls of service since midnight. Heavy snow crushed a gas station awning in Morganton, North Carolina. While the snow has stopped, snow coated trees keep falling, cutting off power to more homes and businesses across the south. Duke Energy said it could still be a day or two before power is restored.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is urging residents to use caution.
"First responders stand ready to assist you as needed, but don't risk your safety and theirs by making them come to your rescue," Cooper said.
Starting Monday night, every southern state affected by this storm from Alabama to North Carolina will see freezing temperatures, raising the concern for black ice and a dangerous morning commute.