Charlotte, North Carolina (December 10, 2018)
Winter left its mark across the state this week as heavy storms made their way through the city of Charlotte and nearby areas, leaving behind thick blankets of snow, ice, and freezing rain. Thousands were without electricity while authorities in the region warned residents to stay home and avoid icy roads and dangerous traveling conditions. Hundreds of flights were canceled, and the city received reports of several accidents along the roadways, including one fatality attributed to the storm. The snowfall began Saturday night and continued through the weekend, hitting the northwestern part of the state and southern areas of Virginia the hardest, with some cities reporting up to a foot of snow by Sunday evening. The National Weather Service reported that the storm would continue at least throughout the day on Monday.
Some 300,000 power outages were reported over the weekend, and some 270,000 residents were still without power by Monday afternoon. Power outages were also reported in Virginia and as far away as Alabama and Georgia.
Travelers were also hit hard by the storm, as the city’s Charlotte Douglas International Airport saw well over 1,000 flights canceled on Sunday alone. Nine other airports throughout the country issued travel alerts for those headed to the city, and passengers were encouraged to check the status of flights before heading out.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper sent out a strong warning to residents to stay off the roadways while crews worked to clear them, but despite his efforts, dozens and dozens of snow-related accidents were reported. Traffic crews and local police were busy throughout the weekend, clearing cars and trucks as well as tractor-trailers from snow embankments along the highways and residential streets. One driver was also reported dead after a tree fell on his moving vehicle. A state of emergency was declared through North Carolina and Virginia, and school officials reported closures for Monday classes ahead of the weekend storm. Cooper and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam both urged citizens to ensure they had emergency supplies ready for the upcoming week and to take all necessary precautions to prepare for stormy weather.
While Charlotte residents may not be able to do much about snowy road conditions, local experts have noted that there is much they can do to prevent damage to their property from heavy snowfall and freezing rain. Stocking up on snow-clearing salt long before storms move in is recommended, and it’s good for homeowners to spread salt as the snow accumulates rather than waiting for the storm to pass.
Shoveled snow should also be piled away from a home, reducing the risk of an interior flood as the snow melts. Keeping basement walls in good condition cuts down on the risk of water damage to any home during snowy conditions, although homeowners are still encouraged to have their homes checked for water damage and needed repair after every snowy season in North Carolina. If you are experiencing water damage in Charlotte, make sure you approach your insurance company fully equipped with information on whether or not water damage caused by melting snow is covered by your provider.