North Carolina's governor says the winter weather has caused hundreds of crashes around the state, including one that caused two deaths.
Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday morning that the North Carolina Highway Patrol had responded to 700 collisions and 300 other calls for assistance.
The storm has moved out of the central part of the state, but is still lashing coastal counties with snow and high winds early Thursday. Cooper said coastal areas have seen between 5 and 7 inches of snow already.
Cooper said there were about 6,500 power outages reported, down from a peak of 20,000.
He said that frigid temperatures will mean that slick conditions could persist on roads into the weekend. He urged residents not to use the roads unless it was absolutely necessary.
Crews are working around the state to remove snow that fell across North Carolina and at least two deaths are being blamed on the weather.
The deaths occurred when a pickup overturned into a creek.
A spokesman for the state Highway Patrol says the truck came to rest on its top while submerged in the creek Wednesday night in Moore County.
Sgt. Michael Baker identified those killed as the driver, 57-year-old Michael Alexander Wilson, and a passenger, 73-year-old Jerry David Wilson. Both were from Bear Creek.
Both men died at the scene.
The National Weather Service said unofficial reports indicated that 6 inches have fallen in places such as Pinehurst and the northeastern corner of the state. Fayetteville had 4 inches. Wake and Durham counties got more than 1 inch.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation said it had more than 650 vehicles out clearing roads Thursday morning. It reported that it had used nearly 200,000 gallons of brine and 3,700 tons of salt in the storm.
The snowstorm hit parts of North Carolina with an unexpected strength, including Moore County, where residents said they were stuck in their cars for hours in traffic jams.
Drivers told WRAL-TV that cars were stopped or moving slowly Wednesday night on U.S. Highway 1 in Southern Pines and Aberdeen. Kristine Castillo estimated 60 to 70 cars were stopped as she was in her car for hours.
Penny Creed says she went to cars in the "bumper to bumper" traffic giving our scarves, gloves and hot chocolate. She says she also invited some people into her home for cookies and cocoa.
The snow is moving out of North Carolina but the cold temperatures are staying behind.
The National Weather Service had blizzard, winter storm warnings and winter weather statements in effect Thursday in half of North Carolina's 100 counties.
Wind chill warnings and advisories were in effect in 54 counties for Thursday and in some cases, for Friday as well. The snow and ice also prompted the closure of many schools in the eastern half of the state.
Up to 6 inches of snow was reported near Fort Bragg.
Duke Energy reported about 2,400 customers still without electricity Thursday morning. Nearly half of those were in Craven County around New Bern.
Wind child values could be as low as -30 degrees (-34 Celsius) at the mountain tops in western North Carolina.