After ‘bizarre’ storm kills 33, what are Carolinas’ long-term concerns?

More than 2,000 people were evacuated from the Carolinas as the weather took its course overnight. The Carolinas’ blizzards and freezing temperatures have created a round of ice and snow that have put an extreme strain on authorities and utilities. The North Carolina Highway Patrol said it was responding to “multiple accidents” and deploying more troopers due to the conditions. The man who crashed into the side of Interstate 40 Wednesday morning, blocking traffic for two hours, died at the scene, the state Highway Patrol said.

The woman who crashed her Ford Explorer into the interstate on Sunday has died. Cathy Higgins of Wilmington was killed Sunday morning when her SUV hit the concrete barrier.

Nelson, North Carolina, was hit by a train at 230 miles per hour on Tuesday night. Emergency officials say there were no injuries. The northbound train got “a bit of a north wind” around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the state Transportation Department. Nelson had received an ice storm warning for part of the storm, and had been put on a minor snow warning with flurries earlier that day.

An 18-wheeler carrying 31,000 pounds of banana slush blew into a sinkhole in Hampton, Virginia, Tuesday night, blocking the road with two tractor-trailers. No injuries were reported. “We have an 18-wheeler that got in a hole at the surface of the road,” City Manager Robert Pate said, adding the hole was up to 20 feet deep.

The storm has resulted in canceled and delayed flights at many area airports. Among the affected D.C.-area airports were Dulles International, Ronald Reagan Washington National and Baltimore-Washington International, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Roads were impassable in parts of Virginia because of pileups, and it took two hours and two tractor-trailers to move the trailer of a tractor-trailer that rolled over on an exit ramp from Interstate 81 north to Route 198, the Virginia State Police said.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol responded to an eight-vehicle crash, a four-vehicle crash and several slide-offs during Tuesday’s ice storm. Many school districts from Florida to Ohio postponed or canceled classes. That left parents scrambling to cover the missed days for the academic year. In South Carolina, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, who had originally said state offices would close, pushed off the closures until Thursday and on Tuesday held his first state of the state address.

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