Four states on the East Coast have declared a state of emergency ahead of a large snowstorm expected to hit Southern and Eastern states Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia all declared a state of emergency on Friday in advance of the storm.
Winter storm warnings from the National Weather Service (NWS) will remain in effect for multiple states into Monday.
The snowstorm is expected to bring “widespread and significant snow and ice up the Eastern Seaboard,” according to the NWS.
The NWS is forecasting up to 12 inches of snow in Virginia, depending on the region. Virginia was slammed by a winter storm earlier this month, which caused an overnight gridlock on a 50-mile stretch of the I-95 highway.
Outgoing Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) on Friday declared a state of emergency, which he said will assist the state response under the new governor sworn in on Saturday, Glenn Youngkin (R), ABC 7 reported.
“Declaring a state of emergency now allows our emergency responders to prepare, and to move supplies and equipment where they expect to need them the most,” Northam said in a statement, reported ABC 7.
“This also gives Governor-elect Youngkin the ability to respond to any storm needs swiftly. I urge Virginians to take this storm seriously and make preparations now,” he continued.
Multiple inches of snow are also expected in areas from the Carolinas all the way to Georgia, according to the NWS, with snowfall in most parts of the region expected not to exceed six inches but higher accumulations possible in mountains in the region.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said the storm could bring “power outages and travel disruptions,” in his emergency declaration.
“This storm will bring significant impacts from snow, sleet and freezing rain in different parts of the state,” he said.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) warned in his emergency declaration that the storm “may cause significant damage to public and private property and disrupt essential utility services and systems throughout the State of South Carolina.”
Cooper and McMaster urged residents to stay home to avoid the incoming weather, even as both states have begun prepping roads for travelers still expected to commute.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) also warned about danger on the roads.
“Due to the possibility of black ice accumulating on roadways, the winter storm poses a danger to the people of Georgia,” he said in his declaration of a state of emergency in the state.
“Assistance from the state of Georgia is necessary to provide for the public’s health, safety, and welfare, protect public and private property and mitigate consequences of this winter storm,” he continued.