Gov. Cooper declares state of emergency after winter storm


    Hendersonville, N.C. in the ice storm. Photo: Bob McKay

    The Latest on the weekend winter storm affecting the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic (all times local):

    4:45 p.m.

    North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency that he says will help utility crews restore electricity more quickly to the state's western Piedmont, foothills and mountains after a winter storm.

    Cooper issued the statewide declaration Sunday. It waives certain truck restrictions on roads so that vehicles can gain easier access to areas where power lines fell due to freezing rain, ice and fallen trees.

    About 90,000 Duke Energy and electric cooperative customers in North Carolina were still without power late Sunday afternoon. The most outages still remaining are in Forsyth and Rockingham counties in the Triad and in Henderson County in the central mountains.

    Cooper's office says nearly 1,000 state Department of Transportation workers also are working to clear snow and ice.

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    12 p.m.

    Virginia State Police say a fatal crash on Interstate 81 occurred when a military surplus vehicle's driver lost control due to slick road conditions as a winter storm went through the region.

    The accident happened Saturday night in a southbound lane of I-81 in Pulaski County. The vehicle was struck by two tractor-trailers.

    One tractor-trailer and the surplus truck stopped in the median, while the other tractor-trailer crossed northbound lanes and struck a fence.

    State police said the surplus vehicle's driver died at the scene. He was identified as 73-year-old Ronald W. Harris of Gainesville, Georgia. The tractor-trailer drivers were taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries.

    A police spokeswoman said a Virginia medical examiner would determine if Harris' death was storm-related.

    At least five other people have been were killed in crashes on slick roadways in Kansas and Missouri since Friday due to storm conditions.

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    11:45 a.m.

    A winter storm that contributed to at least five deaths in the Midwest is pummeling the mid-Atlantic region for a second day, bringing snow, freezing rain and power outages.

    Nearly 200,000 people were without electricity in Virginia and North Carolina on Sunday morning.

    The wintry mix was also causing problems at airports in the region, including more than 250 flight cancellations Sunday at the three main airports serving the nation's capital.

    In Baltimore, a man was fatally shot as he shoveled snow early Sunday morning. Police said a 43-year-old man was outside shoveling at 4:40 a.m. when an unidentified suspect shot him in the shoulder and head. He died at a local hospital.

    The storm was expected to continue into Sunday evening.

    AP-WF-01-13-19 2200GMT

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