Governor says three people have died in snow storm

RALEIGH, NC (WITN) - Governor Roy Cooper says three people have died so far as a result of the winter storm.

The governor briefed reporters this morning from the State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh.

One of those deaths was in Beaufort County, while the other two were in Moore County.

The Highway Patrol says they have responded to more than 700 crashes.

The D.O.T. says they put salt brine on 9,000 miles of roads ahead of the storm. They are now in the process of clearing the major roads and expect to reach secondary roads by tomorrow.

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Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency as the state prepares for this season's first winter storm.

The governor briefed the media at 11:30 a.m.

Cooper urged people to stay off the highways. He said people on the roads not only make it more difficult for emergency responders but to DOT crews as well.

The DOT says they have 800 employees who have been out brining roads.

State transportation secretary Jim Trogdon said those employees are ready to shift their efforts over to plowing and salting operations once the snowfall begins.

Trogdon said their first priority will be major highways, and then work on secondary roads.

The governor said having a heavy snow in the East causes problems since snowfall here is not that common. He said he is also worried about people in their homes who may lose power.