Charlotte snow: Thousands without power in Mecklenburg, dozens of crashes on icy roads

The latest snow forecast for Charlotte

This is the latest weather forecast for the Charlotte area from WBTV. The forecast is calling for historic amounts of snow and ice.
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This is the latest weather forecast for the Charlotte area from WBTV. The forecast is calling for historic amounts of snow and ice.

At least 41,000 households were without power in Mecklenburg County by about 3:30 p.m. Sunday as snow and ice blanketed the region, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and Duke Energy.

Tens of thousands more households had lost power in the western Carolinas, and Duke Energy expects at least a half-million homes and businesses to lose power in the Carolinas because of the season’s first winter storm.

Emergency officials urged everyone to stay indoors and off icy roads.

Charlotte could be coated with up to a half-inch of ice, along with 1 to 3 inches of snow and sleet, by the time the storm gradually weakens Monday and moves out by Monday evening, according to meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Greer, S.C.

Much heavier amounts of snow and sleet will accumulate to the north of Mecklenburg County.

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Parts of Rock Hill had a quarter-inch of ice by 8:30 a.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service said. In Salisbury, 4 inches of snow was reported.

Accumulations of snow and ice increase considerably as you move from Charlotte northward toward Lake Norman. This is frequently the case in winter storms. Less than an inch of snow and sleet was on the ground at daybreak Sunday in places like Pineville, Ballantyne and Matthews.

Snow has mixed with or changed to sleet north of Charlotte, in areas that got heavy snow overnight. From Charlotte southward, mostly sleet and freezing rain was falling at daybreak Sunday.

Watch snow fall softly in uptown Charlotte Dec. 9, 2018.

Medic responded to 70 crashes between midnight and about 3 p.m., the agency tweeted, adding that the incidents were concentrated on major highways like I-77, I-85 and Independence Boulevard.

That’s a major increase from last Sunday, when the agency responded to 46 crashes the whole day.

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper joined emergency officials in warning you may endanger yourself by going out and driving.

“Snow and ice will make roads treacherous,” Cooper said at a news conference Saturday. “Conditions can change. This weekend isn’t time to see winter wonderland. Stay at home. Don’t put your lives at risk.”

The Lynx Blue Line light rail was scheduled to close down at noon Sunday, along with a bus bridge for the light rail line, according to the Charlotte Area Transit System. The Gold Line streetcar was shut down Sunday.

More than 1,000 flights to or from Charlotte Douglas International Airport were canceled Sunday, according to flightaware.com. The airport confirmed Sunday morning that it is open and has been deicing planes since Saturday night.

No announcement had been made on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Monday schedule by 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Keep up with all closings and cancellations on this page.

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