RALEIGH — An estimated 350,000 North Carolina power customers are in the dark as another winter storm hits the state.
Officials of both Duke Power and the state’s electric cooperatives hope most power can be restored by later Friday as the storm moves out of the state.
Snow, sleet and freezing rain forced many schools to close or delay classes.
Duke Energy says about 300,000 customers were without power at midmorning with the biggest problems around Greensboro, Burlington and Asheboro.
About 50,000 co-op customers are without power largely in the Statesville, Salisbury and Chapel Hill areas.
Dominion Electric reported only about 100 customers without service in northeastern North Carolina.
Flood warnings were posted in more than a dozen counties in central North Carolina.
“Reduce your speed on the slushy and icy roads. Beware of flooding, as well as fallen limbs and trees,” said Department of Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry.
The storm prompted the cancellation of some passenger train service because of downed trees on the tracks. The Piedmont and Carolinian The Carolinians and Crescent trains were delayed at High Point, while the Piedmont left Raleigh early Friday morning on a run to Charlotte but had to return to Raleigh because of conditions.
The forecast calls for as much as 4 inches of snow near Boone with an inch between Winston-Salem and Chapel Hill. Up to an inch of sleet is expected around Hickory with freezing rain in Charlotte.