“We could see up to a half an inch of ice there, and with that amount you’re really starting to get into concerns about power outages,” Ellis said. Ice will be a concern along the coast from Jacksonville, North Carolina, to the northeastern corner of South Carolina.
In New Bern, Annabelle’s restaurant closed early on Friday afternoon.
“We’ve done about a fifth of what we would normally do on a lunch,” said manager Keith Strange, whose family owns the restaurant in the picturesque river town of about 30,000 people. “Plus, we’re working with a volunteer staff and don’t want to have people driving if conditions get worse later.”
The storm that’s been forecast is a rare event, which people are taking pretty seriously, Strange said.
“Essentials are hard to find,” he said. “I know several grocery stores were completely out of milk and bread yesterday at different times. People were buying hamburger buns.”
Duke Energy said in a news release that it has readied 2,500 workers around the Carolinas to help restore power after the storm, drawing crews from as far away as Florida and Indiana.
In South Carolina, areas that typically consider hurricanes their biggest weather threat were preparing for ice.
Crews treated the high, long bridges along the state’s coast before the freezing rain started, warning they could become especially dangerous due to freezing rain. Myrtle Beach planned to close at least one bridge for safety before any bad weather started. In Charleston, schools were closed and many offices and businesses shut down after lunch.
The U.S. Navy is requiring only mission-essential personnel to report to its installations along Virginia’s coast, including the world’s largest Navy base in Norfolk. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina, also announced that nonessential employees weren’t required to report to work Friday.