CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A wintry mix that is expected to continue across the Charlotte area through Saturday has closed schools and workplaces, caused power outages, and made traveling a challenge throughout the region.
WBTV Meteorologist Al Conklin expects sleet will change over to freezing rain. Ice amounts up to .50" may lead to downed trees and power lines. Conklin says it takes .25" of ice to weigh down tree limbs and power lines. He says North Carolina's High Country will get a major snowfall rather than the wintry mix that is falling in the Piedmont and foothills of North Carolina.
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By Friday morning, 6,000 people were without power in the mountains and Charlotte region, Governor Pat McCrory said in a press conference Friday. Seven hundred homes were without power in Mecklenburg County.
Check the Duke Energy Outage Map for updates throughout the day HERE.
All Charlotte city offices and Mecklenburg County offices closed Friday due to the winter storm.
By 4 a.m., roads were already covered in snow, with multiple accidents reported. Four people were killed in state wrecks directly related to winter weather and iced roadways.
Check roads in North and South Carolina on our WBTV Traffic Cams HERE.
"Even walking is treacherous," Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said in a city briefing. Officers had responded to 56 crashes in the Charlotte area by 11 a.m.
RELATED ARTICLE: City, state officials brief residents on winter storm
Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) shut down operations for the day, including the LYNX Gold streetcar service. The blue line is operational.
Multiple school systems, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), are also closed.
RELATED ARTICLE: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools closed Friday
CLICK HERE for all area closings and delays.
Mail will not be collected Friday, Charlotte area postal officials say. Conklin expects this winter storm, expected to last through 7 p.m. Saturday, will be similar to the ice storm the city experienced in 2002.
Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency Thursday after two people in the state died in traffic accidents, directly related to ice covering the roadway.
After quick burst of snow for many of us during the predawn hours there's a little bit of a lull mid-morning. Conklin says don't let that be an indicator for the rest of the day.
The Charlotte-Douglas International Airport asks travelers to keep a close eye on possible cancellations and travel conditions, as they may change.
American Airlines, Regionals, Delta, United, Southwest, Lufthansa, Air Canada, ViaAir and JetBlue canceled all operations Friday.
RELATED ARTICLE: Most airlines cancel all flights Friday at Charlotte airport
The American Red Cross reminded residents to prepare for the winter storm Thursday by having a three-day supply of food and water, flashlights and batteries, a first aid kit, fully charged cell-phones and warm clothing.
The Red Cross also has warming stations open at 618 N College Street from 11 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. At 6:00 p.m. Mecklenburg County and the American Red Cross will reevaluate shelter capacity and decide how long they will keep the warming stations open.
RELATED ARTICLE: City officials, DOT bracing for winter storm, possible ice