Here’s how several states are preparing for the weekend winter storm

The storm is expected to plunge into the lower Mississippi Valley region by Friday evening, then meander through the southeast on Saturday before heading north Sunday and Monday along the eastern seaboard.

Here’s how the leaders of some states along its path are preparing for the winter blast:

Georgia

At a press conference on Friday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said the state is deploying resources to protect residents from inclement weather and, if needed, to help neighboring states as well.

Kemp urged Georgians to be “weather aware” this weekend, adding, “you can help us minimize risk, reduce the time needed to recover and, most importantly, keep everyone safe.”

Road pre-treatment began Friday morning and will take about 18 hours, Transport Commissioner Russell McMurry said Friday. Highways will be doubly treated.

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When pre-treatment stops, plowing and spreading of salt and gravel will begin. About 19,500 miles of roadway need to be treated and plowed, McMurry said.

A day earlier, he warned that the state expects to see downed trees, branches and power lines, and urged motorists to “take this storm very seriously and stay off the roads.”

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty about the level of this storm, but it’s pretty clear that we’re going to experience a significant weather event in parts of Georgia over the weekend,” said James Stallings, director of the Georgia Emergency Management. and the Homeland Security Agency.

Caroline from the south

The South Carolina Department of Transportation “has initiated its Winter Storm Operations Plan to address a ‘worst-case scenario’ of winter weather conditions,” according to a statement Wednesday. Crews planned to use anti-icing pre-treatments as early as Thursday on priority roads and bridges.

Residents were asked to stay off the roads to allow crews to work safely, Transport Secretary Christy Hall said in the statement. “The safest course is for drivers to stay off the roads as much as possible. If you must drive, slow down and watch for crews performing deicing and snow removal operations,” Hall said.

“We are watching for the possibility of a winter storm in the Upstate and Midlands region this weekend,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. tweeted Thursday. “Residents in these areas should start monitoring local weather forecasts and prepare safety measures before this weekend.”

North Carolina

Labor shortages in North Carolina portend longer response times for road clearing as the winter storm rolls in, the state Department of Transportation said Friday.

Governor Roy Cooper signed a state of emergency on Thursday to activate state resources ahead of the storm and allow for federal reimbursement, if conditions permit, according to a news release.

“This storm will bring significant impacts of snow, sleet and freezing rain to various parts of the state, with likely power outages and travel disruptions,” Cooper said in a statement.

“North Carolina residents should pay close attention to their local weather forecasts over the next few days and ensure they are personally prepared before Saturday afternoon.”

Virginia

“We expect this storm to have a significant impact in many areas of Virginia,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement Friday, his last full day in office before handing over the reins to Glenn Youngkin.
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“Declaring a state of emergency now allows our emergency responders to prepare and move supplies and equipment to where they expect to need it most,” he said. “It also gives Governor-elect Youngkin the ability to quickly respond to any storm needs.”

“I urge Virginians to take this storm seriously and prepare now.”

Parts of Virginia are still struggling with last week’s winter storm that left motorists stranded on Interstate 95, including restoring power and clearing debris. “This upcoming weather system will likely include additional downed trees, more power outages and significant impacts to travel conditions,” Northam’s office said.

Virginia transportation officials said they were dedicating more than 100 snowplows and other heavy equipment to a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 95 ahead of this weekend’s storm.

“We want to execute and make sure travel continues throughout the region,” Virginia Department of Transportation spokesperson Kelly Hannon told CNN.

Some trucks will focus on specific interchanges in three northern Virginia counties, including the city of Fredericksburg, Hannon said.

The state Department of Transportation will also employ six heavy-duty tow trucks capable of pulling the tractor-trailers off the highway. More than a dozen department employees will be driving on the highway to monitor and report any deteriorating conditions, Hannon added.

The department is urging drivers not to travel on Sunday, Hannon said, because the agency expects the storm to be a mixed event of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

West Virginia

A state of preparedness has been declared for all 55 counties in West Virginia due to the winter storm, according to a statement released Friday by Gov. Jim Justice’s office. It gives agencies preparing for and responding to the storm “staff and resources to respond quickly in the event of an emergency”.

The state’s emergency management agency “monitors any event that could threaten the citizens of West Virginia, including extreme weather threats. We are ready at all times to respond in the event of an emergency,” its official said. director, GE McCabe, in the release. .

Connecticut

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont directed his state to a “severe cold weather protocol” beginning at noon ET Friday through Wednesday — his second such act this year.

“It looks like we’re going to see another burst of arctic temperatures moving through the state, followed by the potential for a winter storm,” Lamont said Friday in a news release. “These conditions can be extremely dangerous if anyone is out for long periods of time, which is why we are urging anyone in need to seek shelter.”

CNN’s Jennifer Henderson and Pete Muntean contributed to this report.

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