- North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency.
- At least two airlines have issued travel advice for airports in the South Midwest.
- Schools closed in Des Moines and some other Iowa districts.
- Residents of the affected areas are asked to stay at home.
Residents in some areas are being asked to stay at home, schools are closed and airlines are preparing for delays as a winter storm threatens to bring snow, ice, wind and frigid temperatures across much of the US over the coming holiday weekend.
Public Schools in Iowa, Des Moines canceled classes Today. Several other school districts in Central Iowa have also canceled or announced early layoffs.
More than 200 shifts were on the roads, mostly in the center and northwest of the state, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.
The roads were slippery early in the morning and the Iowa State Patrol asked motorists in the affected areas to: stay at home if that is possible.
The Kansas City snowplow map showed crews operating on several city streets Friday morning. Some schools in the region closed on Thursday and Friday, but that was due to issues related to COVID-19.
Southwest Airlines has extended travel advisory to major airports in several southern cities and said change fees would be waived for flights on Saturday or Sunday. Affected airports include Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Greenville-Spartanburg, Little Rock, Memphis and Nashville and Raleigh-Durham.
The airline had previously issued a recommendation for Friday and Saturday in parts of the Midwest and said it would waive change fees for flights to, from or through airports in Des Moines, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Omaha and St. Louis.
(PRODUCTION: Winter Storm Izzy Spreads Snow, Ice From Midwest To South & East To MLK Weekend)
Delta has issued similar advisories for multiple airports in the Southeast, as well as Minneapolis-St. Paul.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper stated state of emergency before Friday’s storm.
“This storm will have significant effects from snow, sleet and icy rain in several parts of the state, with likely power outages and travel disruptions,” Cooper said in a press release. “North Carolinians should pay close attention to their local weather forecast for the next few days and make sure they are personally prepared for Saturday afternoon.”
The storm was dubbed Izzy by The Weather Channel.
This fast-moving winter storm will plunge southeast from the Dakotas to the Ozarks with a rapid snowstorm Friday through early Saturday. A narrow zone of 5-10″ of snow is expected from the eastern Dakotas to northern Missouri,” weather .com meteorologist Jonathan Belles said Thursday night.
The storm then moves to the southeast.
“This will lead to snow for some and ice for others, and for parts of Georgia and the Carolinas it means rapidly changing conditions from snow to ice and possibly back again,” Belles said. “Saturday and Sunday will be tedious to drive in some of these spots, but the latter part of the holiday weekend on Monday will see some drier and warmer weather. Be prepared for poor road conditions and the possibility of the flow from North Georgia to the in the Carolina interior.”
The Georgia Department of Transportation stocks more than 50,000 tons of salt and about 46,000 tons of gravel, as well as 407 snow removal dump trucks.
Winter weather is forecast in North Georgia and metro Atlanta this weekend. GDOT is Preparing brine operations, equipment, materials and personnel to respond to the threat,” the agency said in a tweet. “We will continue to monitor conditions as the storm evolves.”
A GDOT official told The Weather Channel on Thursday that people in affected areas should stay at home and avoid travel.
In the Richmond, Virginia area crews were: to prepare equipment and pre-treating highways and other major roads Thursday.
(LAKE: Five things to know about snow and ice in the south)
Snow, possibly mixed with sleet and icy rain, will also spread to the mid-Atlantic on Sunday and then to much of the rest of northeastern Sunday night.
As shoppers stock up on their usual bread, milk and other goods, an expert warned the storm could affect the already strained US supply chain.
“From an impact perspective, with this kind of weather scenario, there would only be one or two accidents before major Interstate closures happen,” Francisco Alvarez, chief meteorologist for truck network Convoy, told weather.com in an email Thursday.
For example, Alvarez cited Midwestern highways as a major problem
“If you could make a box between Omaha, Sioux Falls, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Des Moines, that would be the most dangerous travel area for truck drivers,” Izzy said as he drives through the region.
All drivers should be aware of areas where the storm will pass.
Here are some driving safety tips and other winter storm advice issued by the South Carolina Department of Emergency Management prior to the storm:
-Avoid unnecessary travel in affected areas. If you must travel, make sure your vehicle is in good condition, your cell phone is charged, and extra blankets and snacks are packed in case of delays.
-If the power goes out, know how to report the outage to your utility company and provide alternative, safe ways to keep warm.
– Wrap exposed pipes or take other measures to insulate them from the cold and prevent freezing that could cause pipes to burst.
-If you have a fireplace, provide plenty of dry seasoned wood.
-Winter is the most active season for house fires. Keep fire extinguishers handy and make sure your family knows how to use them.
– Practice proper carbon monoxide safety: Ventilate kerosene stoves, do not burn charcoal indoors, and keep outdoor portable generators away from windows and doors.
– Have a stock of batteries.
-Keep pets and pets in a warm place with access to food and water.
-Check anyone who needs extra help during winter weather.
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on the latest weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.