WPTF Features

Winter Storm Moves Out Of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A fast-moving snow storm is moving out of North Carolina, after dumping at least 7 inches of snow in some parts of the state.

Winter weather warnings and advisories had ended early Friday.

The National Weather Service reported 7 inches of snow in Newland in Avery County. Five inches of snow were reported near Bethel Hill near the Virginia state line in Person County.

Two to 3 inches were reported in the Winston-Salem and Greensboro areas. Father east, the Triangle only received a light dusting of snow.

The major electric utilities reported more than 14,000 customers without power early Friday. Nearly 8,000 of those without service were in the Winston-Salem and Greensboro areas.

The N.C. Highway Patrol reported one fatal accident overnight, though spokesman 1st Sgt. Jeff Gordon said it was not immediately clear whether the crash was weather related.

A man died on Interstate 40 near Valdese at approximately 1:20 a.m. when his vehicle struck a guardrail and came to a stop without any lights on. A second vehicle then struck the first in the passenger door area.

The deceased driver was identified as Stephen Thomas Barker, 24, of Morganton.

Transportation officials urged caution for those headed to work through the morning because of the likelihood the freezing temperatures left behind patches of ices on roads and bridges.

Schools across the state delayed the start of classes because of the storm.

The overnight storm was preceded by rains Wednesday and Thursday that caused nearly 60 landslides in western North Carolina, resulting in numerous road closures.

Heavy snowfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, delayed retrieval of the body of a hiker who was found dead Wednesday in a remote shelter on the Appalachian Trail.

The male hiker, who was about 50 years old, was reported missing Monday. Officials said the cause of death does not appear to be suspicious.

Park spokeswoman Dana Soehn told the Asheville Citizen-Times ( ) that heavy snowfall Thursday made it too dangerous to fly in a helicopter to retrieve the body. Two rangers remained at the shelter overnight.



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