You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Haywood County woman among 3 deaths in weekend snowstorm

Asheville Citizen Times logo Asheville Citizen Times 12/10/2018 Grace Pateras
a group of people around each other: North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper speaks at a Monday morning press conference at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 10. © Provided by Gannett Co., Inc. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper speaks at a Monday morning press conference at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 10.

Three people have been reported dead in relation to the winter storm that blew through North Carolina, according to state officials.

In Haywood County, a terminally ill woman died when her oxygen was cut off due to power outages at her home, where she was under hospice care. In Mecklenburg County, a man died when a tree fell on him, according to NC emergency management officials. And in Yadkin County, a truck driver died while working to free his rig that got stuck on Interstate 77, county officials said.

Winter Storm Diego snow totals reached more than 18 inches in areas of Western North Carolina.

'Bad situations' in Haywood

Greg Shupin, emergency services director for Haywood County, said Monday afternoon they were not releasing any more information about the fatality at that time.

He did say Haywood County’’s Emergency Services Coordination Center is taking a lot of calls, and officials are concerned about overnight temperatures expected to drop to 18 degrees by early Tuesday morning.

“We’ve got plenty of serious things going on, a lot of people in bad situations, but nothing else to the point of someone losing their life,” Shupin said. “We’re dealing with a situation of a forecast of 18 degrees (overnight), and we’ve got 8,000 people without power. And they haven’t had power for two days. That’s the story.”

The county has opened a shelter at the Haywood County Health Department at 157 Paragon Parkway in Clyde, he said. Room remains, and Shupin urged those in need of help or shelter space to call the Coordination Center at 828-356 2981, 828-356-2982 or 828-356-2983.

“We will accommodate anybody who needs a warm place,” Shupin said. “We do not want to have anybody left out in the cold without power or without their medications, or if they need help or have access issues. This is the tradeoff for living in the mountains.”

The county has elevations ranging from 2,000-6,000 feet, so plenty of residents may find themselves in need of assistance, Shupin said, citing the high number of downed trees.

Dangers of the road

Since the storm, the highway patrol has responded to 672 collision and 1,571 calls for service, NC Highway Patrol Col. Glenn McNeill said during a Monday morning press conference.

"For those who must travel today, realize the potential for danger is very real," he said. "Don't let your guard down."

Monday closures: Monday, Dec. 10 school, gov't closings and delays around WNC announced after weekend snowstorm

Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents to stay at home if driving can be avoided. Otherwise, look out for black ice, keep your distance between cars, and drive slowly, he said.

"Please let Mother Nature and [the Department of Transportation] road crews finish clearing the roads before you venture out," Cooper said. "Don't risk your safety or that of emergency responders by venturing out."

Road conditions: Working to keep clear

NCDOT Deputy Sec. Bobby Lewis said the first priority is clearing the main roads.

He said there are 2,300 employees working, 1,600 pieces of equipment out, and 35,000 pounds of salt and sand already used. Black ice is to be expected.

Among the saved are families in Wilkesboro who were taken to a local shelter, National Guard Brigadier General Todd Hunt said. 

Power updates

As of Monday morning, around 144,000 homes are without power, Cooper said.

This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Haywood County woman among 3 deaths in weekend snowstorm

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Asheville Citizen Times

Asheville Citizen Times
Asheville Citizen Times
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon