Winter Storm Diego Slams The South, Leaves 200,000 Without Power

Snowmaggedon 2018 has arrived in the U.S. with its wintry mess, and it is hitting Virginia and North Carolina particularly hard.

Vehicles move along Interstate 85 as an overhead sign indicates 'WINTER WEATHER WARNING IN EFFECT
Lance King / Getty Images

Snowmaggedon 2018 has arrived in the U.S. with its wintry mess, and it is hitting Virginia and North Carolina particularly hard.

Residents in some areas of the South woke up Sunday morning to the effects Snowmaggedon 2018 wrought. The massive storm’s icy conditions and accumulating snowfall is immobilizing transportation and creating other forms of wintry havoc in the region. The meteorological event, known as Winter Storm Diego, pounded the area so severely with heavy snow and ice that 200,000 people in North Carolina were left without power late Sunday morning, according to Newsweek. Thousands of residents in South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia also experienced power outages.

According to Accuweather, all or most of the heaviest snow is predicted to hit western North Carolina, southernmost West Virginia and central and Southern portions of Virginia. Areas most affected in the two states may see up 12 inches of snowfall accumulation on average.

Cities such as Boone, Gastonia, Morganton, Statesville, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro, North Carolina may even see a foot or more of the powdery stuff.

In North Carolina, the winter storm has already dumped several inches of snow and ice in Raleigh, Asheville, Durham, and surrounding areas. Asheville, additionally, has a possibility of seeing 18 inches of snow accumulation. The precipitation is also expected to turn to freezing rain Sunday afternoon, causing travel to become hazardous in the area.

Governors and local officials in the affected southern states declared emergencies and set plans in motion to contend with the dangerous conditions that Winter Storm Diego brings. Bloomberg reports that governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper, said that emergency personnel, including the National Guard, had worked overnight to remove traffic accidents that happened on major roads.

Additionally, one major accident had occurred in North Carolina; a tractor trailer hit an icy swath of roadway, left the road, and plowed into a river. Governor Cooper cautioned residents against traveling on the major roadways and putting themselves and other motorists at risk.

North of the Tar Heel State, six to 12 inches of snow is expected to fall in the southeast area of Kentucky, the southernmost part of West Virginia and southern and central Virginia. Blacksburg, Richmond and Bluefield will likely see more than six inches of snow accumulation.

And, as Snowmaggedon 2018 makes its way across the South, the heavy wintry mix will likely cause more power outages and travel along portions of major interstates in the area will likely be brought to a standstill. In particular, Interstate 26, I-40, I-77 and I-81 may be adversely affected by the major weather event, and the disruptions and shutdowns will possibly carry over into Monday.

The airport hub in Charlotte, North Carolina was displaced by Winter Storm Diego’s precipitation, but other major airport hubs such as Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson and Philadelphia International Airport were spared from Snowmaggedon 2018 and remain open for travel. Meanwhile, airline delays and flight cancellations resulting from travel into areas in the heart of Winter Storm Diego are expected to occur.