- A massive storm is pelting southern states with freezing rain, snow, and ice, causing over 300,000 power outages across the Carolinas and Virginia.
- Officials declared states of emergency in Virginia and North Carolina, where Gov. Roy Cooper called it a “mammoth” storm.
- Airports across the region have canceled thousands of flights as perilous conditions are expected to extend into Monday.
A massive storm is pelting southern states with freezing rain, snow, and ice, causing over 300,000 power outages across the Carolinas and Virginia, according to PowerOutage.US.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned residents to take all possible precautions against the “mammoth” storm.
“Enjoy the beauty, but respect the danger,” Cooper said during a Sunday morning news conference about the storm, which has caused more than 190,000 outages in the state alone. “Don’t be fooled, this storm is treacherous.”
Cooper said the storm was only just beginning as it made its way to the state’s mountains in the western region Saturday night.
“We’re preparing for days of impact, not hours,” Cooper said. “This weekend isn’t the time to head out to see the winter wonderland. Stay safe where you are. Getting out on dangerous roads could put your life at risk.”
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a similar warning Saturday, saying “Virginians should take all necessary precautions to ensure they are prepared for winter weather storm impacts.”
As of Sunday afternoon, more than 82,000 were without power in South Carolina, while a total of about 75,000 outages were reported across Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi.
The National Weather Service told the Associated Press a “prolonged period of snow” began late Saturday and would last until Monday in the region, with the heaviest snow expected in northwest North Carolina and southern Virginia.
Forecasters have said some mountain areas of North Carolina could get up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) of snow or more.
More than 1,000 flights were canceled Sunday at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the sixth busiest airport in the country.
American Airlines has also issued a travel alert for nine airports throughout the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Virginia, for which passengers should look to change their plans as soon as possible.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.