Winter Storm in North Carolina Kills 2, Causes More Than 1,600 Accidents

January 11, 2017

An 85-year-old Surry County man who died from prolonged exposure to cold is North Carolina’s second fatality from the winter storm, state officials said Monday as the bitter cold dug into the state for another day.

The man died Monday after falling outside his home and being exposed to the cold, Gov. Roy Cooper said in a news release. On Sunday, a woman died in Montgomery County when the car in which she was riding hit a tree.

Meanwhile, officials say the State Highway Patrol responded to 1,650 accidents and more than 3,600 calls for service from Friday evening through Monday morning.

Cooper said 63 of 115 school districts closed Monday while several others opened late. The closings and delays continued into Tuesday and included Wake County, the state’s largest school district.

Power outages hit a peak of about 30,200 and had dropped to about 1,600 customers Monday, the governor said.

The state of emergency that Cooper declared for the entire state expired at noon Tuesday when temperatures were expected to get above freezing.

Lows fell into the single digits in the early-morning hours of Monday in western North Carolina locations such as Boone and Jefferson. The National Weather Service also reported single-digit temperatures in Ahoskie in northeastern North Carolina and in the central part of the state, including Salisbury and Burlington.

The executive order for the state of emergency was issued Friday for all 100 counties to allow authorities to move heavy equipment around the state to prepare for and respond to the storm.

Two hikers and a dog were among those rescued during the storm. In Haywood County, two day-hikers who had lost their way in the Shining Rock Wilderness area were rescued on Sunday by search teams.

Dozens of search and rescue technicians covered thousands of acres on foot Friday and Saturday looking for the lost pair. A State Highway Patrol helicopter with thermal infrared equipment located the hikers, and an N.C. Heloaquatic Rescue Team pulled them off the mountain in an N.C. National Guard helicopter.

In Orange County, rescuers saved a dog named Petey who fell into water near Mebane. Pete was struggling to keep his head above water about 30 feet to 40 feet from shore, local media outlets reported.

Rescuers broke a path in the ice and pulled Petey into a boat. It’s unknown exactly how long Petey was in the water.

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