Cooper urges people to get prepared ahead of winter storm

RALEIGH, NC (WITN) - Governor Roy Cooper said residents across the state need to be prepared for winter weather later today.

The governor said the northeastern part of the state could receive the most snow with between three to six inches possible.

"Don't let the temperature fool you," the governor warned. He said with the snow and wind there could be whiteout situations on the coast.

So far 29 counties have closed school systems and 55 others on early release across the state.

Cooper is urging people to stay off the roads and says the DOT and Highway Patrol have been preparing for this possible storm since the beginning of the week.

DOT chief engineer Tim Little says they have 403 trucks and 955 employees out. He said they've already put out more than 300,000 gallons of salt brine on state highways.

The state emergency operations center will open at 1:00 p.m. to assist local governments.

Cooper says people should have a plan in place for their family, including their pets in case conditions worsen.