3 dead after massive, 'unforgettable' snowstorm pummels North Carolina: Governor

The storm was described by the governor as a "nightmare."

December 11, 2018, 11:05 AM

Three people have died in North Carolina after a massive, "unforgettable" snowstorm pummeled the state, the governor said Tuesday.

A driver was trying to free his stuck car on Monday when he began to have medical problems, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. The driver died at a hospital, he said.

Another driver died in the town of Matthews on Sunday after a tree struck his car. The driver then plowed through the front lawn of a church, hitting the building, local police said.

PHOTO: The driver, Alenjandro Rangel, right, and a man who assisted him, grab tools from the truck bed after the truck flipped after running over a patch of ice too quickly, Dec. 11, 2018, in Carrboro, N.C.
The driver, Alenjandro Rangel, right, and a man who assisted him, grab tools from the truck bed after the truck flipped after running over a patch of ice too quickly, Dec. 11, 2018, in Carrboro, N.C.
Julia Wall/The News & Observer via AP

In Haywood County, a woman on hospice care died when her oxygen concentrator stopped working from a power outage, the governor’s office said.

Beyond the three confirmed storm-related deaths, one additional death is under investigation, Cooper said Tuesday.

The storm -- described by the governor as a "nightmare" -- dropped staggering amounts of snow, ice and rain across North Carolina, with a year's worth of snow falling in some places in just one day. The most snowfall was 34 inches in Busick, North Carolina.

While the storm -- which hit Saturday night -- has moved on, fallen trees, downed power lines and slippery roads still remain, Cooper said Tuesday.

There were 38,000 households still without power as of Tuesday morning, he said.

Cooper also warned that the frigid temperatures overnight are transforming slushy roads into dangerous ice.

The state's highway patrol has responded to 2,300 accidents, he said.

"If conditions in your area are still dangerous, don't take the risk. Sit tight," Cooper said.

Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee also saw over 1 foot of snow in some areas.

The forecast

That storm may have moved eastward, but freezing temperatures remain. Brutal wind chills hit much of the eastern U.S. Tuesday, including the South.

The National Weather Service has warned drivers to be mindful of black ice.

Wind chills this morning in much of the eastern U.S. are frigid.
Wind chills this morning in much of the eastern U.S. are frigid.
ABC News

Meanwhile, in the West, six states are under snow, wind or flood alerts ahead of a new storm system approaching the Pacific Northwest.

Six states in the West are under weather alerts and warnings this morning.
Six states in the West are under weather alerts and warnings this morning.
ABC News

Heavier rainfall is expected in the Northwest on Tuesday, and may lead to flash flooding as winds exceed 50 mph.

On Wednesday morning, the storm that brought rain to the Northwest will likely will move east and drop heavy snow, with 1 to 3 feet expected from the Cascades into the Rockies.

Most of Idaho is expecting snow on Wednesday.
Most of Idaho is expecting snow on Wednesday.
ABC News
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