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'Downright Dangerous': Thousands Without Power After Snowstorm Sweeps Through Parts of Virginia, Carolinas


Parts of the Southeast and mid-Atlantic are contending with bitterly cold winds and snow after a storm swept through Friday.

Winter weather advisories and ice warnings were in effect for dozens of counties from South Carolina to Virginia with some areas getting over five inches of snow.

"It's already below freezing, it's already pure freezing rain, so it looks like this is a textbook event to overperform in terms of the ice accumulation," Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer said Friday evening, from Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. "Stay indoors. Stay off the roads through tomorrow morning. It's about to get nasty across the coastal Carolinas." 

Light snowfall began around 3 p.m. EST in Virginia Beach on Friday, AccuWeather National Reporter Jillian Angeline reported. Snowfall grew heavier as the evening went on. 

Once the snow started sticking to surfaces, it created "downright dangerous" roadway conditions, Angeline added.

The heart of the storm's snowfall spanned from northeastern North Carolina to southeastern Virginia and the Atlantic beaches of Maryland. As the storm concluded Saturday morning, reports of snowfall farther west were limited with about 2.5 inches of accumulation in Mint Hill, North Carolina.

"Power outage threat is going to increase dramatically as these northeasterly winds continue to increase, and the freezing rainfall rates are also going to increase," Timmer stated.

The number of power outages across Virginia rose throughout Friday evening and into Saturday.

Over 203,000 customers were reported in Virginia Beach, 102,000 in Norfolk, and 106,000 are without power in Chesapeake, according to PowerOutage.US.

Freezing temperatures and a lack of sunshine on Saturday present further risks for travelers, with roadways turning to ice overnight. 

"Warm waters surrounding the (coastal) region may mitigate the ice storm somewhat, but motorists should be prepared for slippery conditions, especially on elevated surfaces such as bridges, overpasses, and causeways," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.

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