PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY/AP) — The first winter storm of the season left thousands in Virginia and North Carolina without power, impacted roadways and forced school districts to close on Monday.
Snowflakes started to fall early Sunday morning in parts of the Commonwealth, and continued throughout the day.
Over 20,000 Dominion customers in the southeastern Virginia region were without power at one point Sunday night — including 17,000 in James City County alone.
Dominion’s outage map showed around 9,000 outages across the region Monday morning. More than 4,500 outages were reported in Gloucester, and just over 7,000 in James City County.
A winter weather advisory for areas including Isle of Wight County, James City County, Williamsburg, Gloucester and Middlesex expired early Monday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, four inches of snow has been reported in James City County. New Kent County and parts of Richmond are reporting upwards of nine inches of snow.
Virginia State Police said they have responded to more than 1,000 crashes related to the storm across the state, and nearly 1,150 disabled vehicles.
A majority of the crashes happened along the Interstate 81 corridor, southern Virginia and central Virginia, state police said.
Several schools and city offices announced closures for Monday, including Williamsburg-James City County, Franklin, Southampton County, Surry County and Isle of Wight County.
North Carolina State Highway Patrol responded to 500 crashes and 1,000 calls for service through Sunday afternoon. One death was reported from a weather-related accident outside of Charlotte, according to police.
Gov. Roy Cooper strongly urged residents to stay off the roads, asking drivers not to put lives of first responders needlessly at risk. Cooper said emergency crews, including the National Guard, worked overnight to clear traffic accidents on major roadways.
A vehicle was traveling down a street in the suburb of Matthews when a tree fell on the vehicle. The driver was killed and the passenger has minor injuries, police say.
Both Cooper and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency before the storm hit.
“Virginians should take all necessary precautions to ensure they are prepared for winter weather storm impacts,” said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.