South Carolina and North Carolina on Wednesday evening each declared a State of Emergency, as a second severe winter storm is expected to hit the states, potentially bringing high winds, ice, and snow.
In an executive order issued at around 6 p.m., South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said a state of emergency for South Carolina is effective immediately, and will remain in effect for 15 days.
It’s the second state of emergency issued by the governor in recent days. McMaster on Jan. 14 issued a state of emergency as Storm Izzy approached. That declaration allowed state agencies to better coordinate resources, and also waived or suspended certain transportation regulations to allow for emergency preparations and response operations.
“South Carolina is expected to experience winter storm weather again this week,” the governor said on Twitter.
State forecasters expect South Carolina will be hit with a mixture of snow and ice beginning late Friday, with a potential period of icing from freezing rain in the eastern and central Midlands, News 19 reported.
The National Weather Service (NWS) on Wednesday morning issued a Winter Storm Watch for the South Carolina Midlands, which remains in effect from late Thursday night through to Saturday morning.
It states that heavy mixed precipitation is possible, with total snowfall of up to one inch and ice accumulations of one tenth to two tenths of an inch. The wintry weather conditions are likely to lead to slippery and hazardous road conditions, NWS said.
“Some power outages and tree damage will likely occur with these potential ice amounts,” NWS said.
“This is the typical southern winter weather event,” National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Gropp told The State on Wednesday. “It’s hard to predict, but there will be a mixed bag of (precipitation) that includes rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow.”
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s state of emergency declaration warned of risk to residents’ lives and property from the predicted storm.
The NWS said Wednesday that a winter storm is expected to hit central parts of state from Thursday evening through Saturday morning. Light snow and/or sleet may result in localized slick roads on Thursday night, while black ice is possible area-wide Thursday night and early Friday morning as cold air pours into central North Carolina, it said.
It comes after the states were severely impacted by winter storm Izzy last weekend. The storm swept through parts of the southeast, bringing chilling temperatures, inches of snow and ice and gusty winds.
Storm Izzy left more than 130,000 people without power in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, by Sunday night, according to poweroutage.us.
Several parts of North Carolina saw up to 10 inches of snowfall, Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center, told The Associated Press. Two people were killed in a car crash in the state amid the severe winter conditions.
McMaster’s executive order states that, according to preliminary weather forecasts, the expected storm “threatens to cause significant damage to public and private property and disrupt essential utility and other critical systems” throughout the state.
The governor on Twitter urged those in potentially impacted areas to immediately begin safety preparations.
“Please check your local forecasts and stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary once the storm begins,” he said.