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Snow swept across the southeastern United States on Tuesday and Wednesday, chilling the region and causing widespread road closures and flight delays from southern Texas through North Carolina.
The winter storm unfolded across the Gulf Coast states on Tuesday with snow, sleet and ice making some roads impassable from Houston through Birmingham, Alabama. Stretches of Interstate 10 were closed from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday due to snow and ice.
By Wednesday, the focus of the snow shifted from the Gulf Coast to the Carolinas. Areas near the coast saw little to no accumulation, but accumulations of 4 to 8 inches were common farther inland.
"The storm has left a swath of heavy snow along and north of Interstate 85 in Upstate South Carolina and North Carolina," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait said. "The heaviest snow occurred in an area just to the northwest of Durham, North Carolina, where there was 8 to 12 inches."
Over 1,600 collisions occurred across North Carolina on Wednesday as snow-covered roads caused slippery travel on major highways. Charlotte Douglas International Airport also reported more than 500 cancellations and 1,100 delays amid heady snow.
The storm also left nearly 30,000 electric customers without power on Wednesday evening with a majority of the outages being reported in central North Carolina.
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Weather-related travel delays may continue across the region through the balance of the week, even after the storm departs, due to lingering impacts and slow snow removal.
"The roads will remain treacherous for a while because the region has limited resources for snow removal. Interstates and other major thoroughfares will be cleared and passable Thursday, but secondary roads and many residential streets and back roads have not seen nor will see the snow removed," Strait said.
A flip in the weather pattern will send warmer weather into the region by the weekend, helping to melt snow left behind by the winter storm.
We see here just a few of the nearly 1,600 crashes the @NCSHP were called to investigate between 12 am-4pm, due to hazardous road conditions w/ #ncwx snow. As you can see, it's a good idea to stay home, stay off the roads and be safe! pic.twitter.com/nsCshk8IUZ— NC Highway Patrol (@NCSHP) January 18, 2018
NC stay off the roads today/tonight. 5 minutes after helping these folks I center punched a pine tree. All good. Probably just needs a new alignment. pic.twitter.com/OfA5Q28jew— Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) January 17, 2018
Johnston County Sheriff's deputies in Clayton just closed part of Amelia Church Road. An @NCDOT plow has arrived to work on the hill, but is having to wait for another crew to help clear the barricade and provide additional support. @WNCN pic.twitter.com/qLva4Y1sYo
— Robert Richardson (@RobertReport) January 17, 2018
Roadways are continuing to ice over in the #Acadiana area. As you can see in this picture iced over roads may be hard to see at night. Drivers who do not need to be on the road should stay indoors. Troop I #Troopers have responded to nearly 70 crashes since 5:00 pm. pic.twitter.com/wnFWINZOmq— LA State Police (@LAStatePolice) January 17, 2018
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