Photos: Major storm unloads up to a foot of snow in North Carolina as nearly 1,600 accidents ensue

By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
January 19, 2018, 12:24:50 PM EST

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."

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Snow-covered roads in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo/Chapel Hill Emergency Management)

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.

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(Photo/North Carolina Department of Transportation)

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A plow truck working to clear a road in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Photo/Town of Chapel Hill)

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(Photo/North Carolina Department of Transportation)

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(Photo/Kentucky Trooper Corey King)

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